By Martti C. Peeples
I lay still in the silence, allowing my mind to reminisce.
My mind wondering back to a time of which I have only read or saw a visual. Yet my heart and soul feel the cries of a people longing to be free, arms outstretched to the Heavens, crying out, “ABBA FATHER.”
They toil in the dirt daily, they remain in a vocal silence, but in song or eye contact, they speak amongst themselves, “Freedom be a-coming, freedom be a-coming.”
At night they lay beneath the stars caressing one another, capturing a moment, for tomorrow may not be promised; but still they whisper to one another, “Freedom be a-coming, freedom be a-coming.”
Morning comes with a sound of a trumpet playing; the sound isn’t music, but a daily reminder of my captor’s pleasure that I will once again dig in his dirt, harvest his crops, clean his house, care for his children.
But my spirit still sings a song of its own, “Freedom is a-coming!”
At night my wife is not my wife, but the concubine of another. I feel helpless as my wife descends into an Abyss. While my manhood is tested, my wife’s spirit is taken. Slowly we both die a little, but yet we still lift our arms to the sky, falling on bended knee, crying out, “Abba Father.”
Suddenly I awake from my dream only to see there’s no captor, yet still I am captive.
A separation we created, a village being burned by those who look like me. Children being slaughtered not by hands of a different color, but by hands which look like mine.
Where once I felt I had no place but to be a concubine, I freely, willingly claim its place. I trade in my womanhood for concubine status. Where once I clung to my child crying, “Abba Father! Save my children!” I toss them away, declaring them useless and heavy-laden.
I grew angry in the night because my captor freely took my wife, my manhood leaving me more and more, for if I react, my wife’s life may end, or mine. When she returns to me, I try to console her.
Now I need no wife. Why? When so many freely give me their possessions? I labor not for myself because she has now chosen to labor for me. Yes, many come bearing all she is worth, never once wondering or questioning if I will give them freely what they give to me.
Sons and daughters for whom I once would die, would beg my captor not to take from me, I gladly walk away from. For I do not see them as my own or a blessing. They who came from me and look like me are my shame. They have only come to expose what I dare not be.
Leave me and do not return unto me, for I cannot give what I do not possess.
Tonight or today, I, the Man, will not cry out “Abba Father!”
The child stares at their captor, noticing they have the same eyes, same nose, but he will only turn and walk away. He does not want to see what I see. He dare not draw close to me for his SHAME will only grow.
I work hard for him daily, harder than anyone, just to try to find favor. At night I lay beneath the stars and cry, “Abba Father! Do not let me fall in a pit of un-wanted-ness. Please let my heart not harden.” My mother comforts me, for she feels my despair. She sings to me, “Freedom be a-coming.”
Now as I stand in my present, there is no mother to comfort me, for she looks at me as her burden, not her joy. Where once she cried, “Do not take my child,” she flings me to the wind in hope I will soon be carried away.
Tonight or today, I, the Woman, will not cry “Abba Father!”
I, the child, cannot cry “Abba Father!” for I know not what it means.
The Man cannot cry “Abba Father!” for he has no regulation of him nor desires to know him.
The Woman cannot cry “Abba Father!” for her shame overshadows her spirit.
A people who once clung to a spirit, a hope, a dream, now wanders aimlessly, with no voice and an unwillingness to sing “Freedom be a-coming,” or cry out “Abba Father!” for they now do not know either.
And now I awaken in my presence with noise all around me, arms at my side, head hanging low.