Loss/Gain


Hollowed wood made for the journey through the Atlantic
Made us at first prisoners
Brought for labor and sacrifice
Bartered and traded for tobacco and rice
Looking out into the deep
As cold and black as the hearts of our captors
Each man's own Amistad come to life
Disaster that learned how to tame our wild hearts
And keep them mastered
The youth slain before the disease of civil liberty could take hold
Blistered feet marching oppression's cold concrete
Second-class citizenship meant we saw nothing
But their backs facing us
From a life of labor to the labor of acquiring life
Without racial injustice
But like a resurgent wave crashing upon an ever-stagnant shore
Beckoning change into its obstinate core
Marching rhythm into a system that would not before bend
We brought change to corrupt policy and forced its mend
And so a voice beaten back by violent retort
Drowned in low morale and cut down by law
Found its call for freedom and rights again
A cycle turned upon its ugly reflection-broken, and left to die
So that we'll learn that what we've gained can never be lost
For all life's progress has its cost.

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