A Slave’s Lament (Literally)

The air on board was foul and putrid.

Chained together at the ankle in

coffles, evil dragged me and others

with scabbed lips on board.

Humiliated under the sun, we were

stripped naked and examined from

head to toe and put in quarters to

be raped.

My senses dulled from abuse, bouts

of hunger with nausea, constipation

and headaches made me sick.

The hallucinations from the forlorn

distance sent shivers down my spine

as lulling whispers of shackles

tormented me.


The anchor was set up, huge sails

caused the ship to fly amidst ominous

looming dark clouds.

Thunder rumbled like a hungry monster.

Cold breeze swept across the ship as i

lay numb from the pain for months.

Heavy cowhide descended on my

shrinking flesh and manacled limbs.

I grieved yesterday’s anguish as the

sacred zeal in my bosom glowed

preceding with my woes.


A raised wooden stage welcomed

me ashore.

Naked, exposed to the sun’s piercing

beam, bids were tallied carefully.

Negotiations were made, i now

belonged to “massa”.

Working the heat in the plantations

under harsh conditions, my back ached

and wounds from the whipping from the

overseer hurt – my fingers bled from

picking cotton.

Mentally subdued, i hid behind religion’s

soothing balm.

My mind was longer my own, this body

belonged to “massa”.

I constantly pranced in the hallowed night,

lamenting a hopeless future for my child-

humming a languid song in hope that my

ancestors might hear my plight.

I raised my head to the sky, and envisioned

freedom’s caress under a constellation.


©FloetryC 2016




Author: AfroetryC

I am an African woman and a mother to a precious little angel. I love to use the term "Afro-floetic Queen" mostly to describe my poetry and my roots. I love poetry...art, soul music and inspirational bits of knowledge to offer advice and counseling to those who need it. I can be very witty, straight forward but fun. Ha. ha... A colorful perception of the world - expressed in my poetry. I want to inspire people with my Poetry...give them hope, while also advising them. Life is a learning process and i am happy when one of my pieces directly affects or inspires one of my readers. Let's take a detour around experience, and let me fill your minds with sweet poetic juices.... Note: Just changed my user name from FloetryC to AfroetryC because the latter is more personal and describes my Spoken Word Poetry better.

3 thoughts on “A Slave’s Lament (Literally)”

  1. Incredibly powerful. Brought me to tears, and yet, at the end, a glimmer of hope set against a life of pain and longing, not for herself, but for the child and the future children of that child.


    1. Thank you for the compliment.
      I’m glad that you were moved by this piece.
      It was difficult to write because I had to visualize and imagine the plight of a slave.
      My spirit broke with each line…a very painful part of history.
      But there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
      Even through pain, hope lingers.

      Thank you for the insightful comment. 😊


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