Who owns our body?
From the soil to W.E.B. DuBois’ Souls of Black Folk
To the present where the silence of our strengths will be untethered.
We can measure the lifespan and level of love by what we are taught to put in our bodies.
This is not a conversation about carnivores or vegans,
But rather one of fast food versus our freedom.
One where sun chips and doritos barricade our intellectual libido.
Quarter waters and fried chicken wings break our backs
With diabetes and illnesses we can’t fix with slings.
Where that bodega baconeggncheese makes the morning of a New Yorkers dream
May come from factory farmed pigs, dairy, and genetically modified bovine growth hormones
And chickens laying eggs that have never been exposed to sunlight
Or have the ability to stretch their wings.
A cross between Old McDonald and Maya Angelou,
Wondering if these caged birds even have the will to sing?
If we had a farm it would be a thrill to bring
Bok choy and blueberries out of Whole Foods and the appetites of the “affluent”
To our cornerstores and dinner tables as soul food.
So, I ask, where do we stand if our roots aren’t connected to the land?
How can we grow, if the seeds of our future disregard the grandeur
Of garlic and glorify the material wealth and falseness of gold?
Why will we shine? Because we have had our backs against the wall before.
Except now, we are fueled by our modern day 40 acres and a mule.
The tools to convert food deserts and agroindustry mass marketing campaigns
Into oases of our appetites,
Procreating the paradise, past inflammation, metabolic syndromes,
And symptoms manifest from systemic misinformation.
Allow us to dialogue and dissertate on food for thought
And chart our diets on a path to divine, while dashing away the dishes of disarray.
Disobey the days of divide and conquer.
No us versus them, look at we and realize that this, this is they.
The mirror that is upheld, reflects the hope to heal.
Because what is it worth, to realize that looking back, one rose, one fell.
We are all our brothers keeper, so let’s turn this history of zero-sum into a place at the table
And exalt ourselves with a HERO’s yum.
May we post selfies of pitchforks, orchards, plant beds, and self-determinate to germinate
To grow, harvest, feed our own, and skip stores.
Trace back before those slave ships would grip shores and your great grandmothers’,
Great grandmothers’, great grandmother
Would plan her planting by the rhythm of the season’s chanting.
So, may we POTLUCK and feast with the Appetite of our Ancestors.
Using taste buds to overtake social constructs of transgressions,
Together WE STAND destined to progress with a palate of PEACE.