• Abiodun Oyewole

How Many Ways


How many ways have you tried to kill me

No matter how hard you try dead I could never be

You’ve tried to work me to death

Hung me from a tree until I lost my breath

Gave me food not fit for a dog

Left me to eat the scraps of a hog

Beat me with a whip until my body would bleed

Forced me to have sex I was a thing used to breed

Made me pick cotton all day in the hot sun

Wouldn’t let me sleep until my work was done

Chopped off my legs when I tried to run away

Boiled me in oil was the punishment I’d pay

Set me on fire to watch and smell my body burn

Terrorize and torture were the lessons I had to learn

Shot me up with syphilis and had me share it with others

Experiments and conditions designed to make us hate each other

Poisoned my mind to kill myself and my own kind

Fought in all your wars but still no welcome sign

Put drugs in the hood a band-aid for the pain

Turned us into zombies without any brains

Set us up to go to prison to keep slavery alive

Being black is a natural crime we must serve if we survive

A lot of food is unhealthy

Good health makes you wealthy

Education is a lie

It doesn’t recognize you and I

It’s all about their story

And all the things they want to be

It seems we have no glory

We have no history

How many ways have you tried to kill me

No matter how hard you try dead I will never be

You’ve dropped bombs on me

Stabbed me in the back

You’ve run trucks and cars over me

It seems I’m always under attack

Cops carry guns with my name on the bullets

They always shoot to kill this is how they pull it

The noose is still used but the choke hold saves rope

The goal is to stop me from breathing

A message to the hood there’s no hope

Their mission has failed

It was never meant to succeed

If you kill the author you have nothing to read

We create all life and life could never die

We’re here on earth to celebrate

And live to multiply


Abiodun 7-4-20

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