Contents

Editorial:
Pen, Sword and The Society

Interview:
Nnorom Azuonye
My E-conversation with
Esiaba Irobi

Guest Poet:
Rebecca Steltner
About Steltner

Poems:

Rebecca Steltner
Summer Forgetting
Untitled I
Untitled II
Before falling asleep
Chafed
Unoma Azuah
Vows
Song of the Owl
Nights
In Us
Uduma Kalu
To the unheard voice
A mermaid dance
Evelyn
I am still eager
C. Highsmith-Hooks
When freedom come
Through tainted eyes
The Day The Towers Fell
Uche Nduka
Swear
Gleamings
Turn the key
Slow Feet
Emeka Azuine
Reality World
Oppressenergy
Song for Souls


Feature:
Nnamdi Obioha Azuonye
- Profile of the poet
Nnorom Azuonye
The Freedom Clause: Theme and Meaning
in the poems of
Nnamdi Azuonye

Events & Announcements:
StAnza Poetry Festival
Poetry Competitions

Notes:

Notes on Contributors
Glossary

Back Issues:

January 2003
December 2002

Home

MAGAZINE MONTHLY -- FEBRUARY 2003          ISSN 1479-425X

Poems

C. HIGHSMITH-HOOKS


When Freedom Come

When freedom come,
we gon' own ourselves;
no more "Massa"  this
or "Massa"  that.
We be free men and women-
when freedom come.
Free to do what we want
and Lord knows I ain't never
pickin'  no more cotton !
I ain't even gonna' wear
cotton clothes-
when freedom come.
I'm gon' change my name
to something I like-
not no slave name.
When freedom come
we be free to serve the Lord
our  way and when we want;
won't have to sneak
and read the Good Book then.
When freedom come.
We gon' sing and dance
and thank God,
but not 'til we miles away
from "Massa" and "Missus"
'cause they gon' try to tell us
that we was born to be slaves-
that we cain't handle freedom.
I try to imagine freedom
as something that
need to be "handled"
and I laughs inside,
cuz' ain't nothing
harder to handle
than being a slave.
So when freedom come,
I'm finally gon' tell them:
"I worked your fields
and kept your house;
I washed your clothes,
cooked your food
and suckled your babies
on my own breasts!
I gave up
my language,
my history,
my religion,
my body,
my humanity.
My pride
was beat out of me
and my family
was sold away from me.


I carried
your name,
your crops,
your burdens,
your scars
AND your children."
Oh, when freedom come,
I'm gon' say all that;
and everything else

I always wanted to say-
when freedom come.               

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