We’re real cool,
As Gwendolyn Brooks wrote.
We can also be shy and nerdy,
Like Oscar Wao.
No, the rainbow is not enough;
We come in more shades than colors.
We danced with devils in blue dresses
Across the known world. They marveled
At our hair, as it grew towards the sky;
Some said it resembled eyes watching god.
We dug in the terrain of our new homes.
We exposed our roots, entangled with theirs.
You and I and all the world are kindred–
Even the president’s daughter knew that.
We are as precious as midnight.
There’s no need to push against the shadows.
We stay true to ourselves, not just true to the game–
For this is life, not monopoly.
We are as diverse as the diaspora.
We are William Wells Brown, Zora Neale Hurston,
Octavia Butler, Charles R. Saunders, Walter Mosley,
Sapphire, Edward P. Jones, Sister Souljah,
Walter Dean Myers, Teri Woods, and millions more.
We are writers, as diverse as the diaspora.
A. J. Hayes
Give a poet a pen