A Letter To The Government

And when I remember how you feel about me

I feel an anger deep inside

My blood is boiling

I feel the anger in my in feet every step I take

As I remember that I am walking on the ground

My ancestors blood and pain built

Just for you to still call it yours

And when I think of you

I think about how you have controlled parts of my life

I have yet to even live

Convinced the entire society

That I am unworthy

And those before me

And certainly after

Hold less worth

Than the dirt under your nails

And when I think of you

I think about how you have shoved most of us

Into cells

Because it is no longer socially acceptable to hang us from trees

But this way you can still watch

And when I think of you

I think of all of those whose blood lay on your hands

I think of the potential children who could have risen to power from our wombs

But never got the chance because your eugenics movement stole motherhood straight from our uterus

And when I think of you

I wonder how one day I will have to explain to my child

That after all this time you still exist

To destroy us

But then I remember I get to teach them

About the power they hold just in their DNA

It’s so powerful

You are terrified of it





Author: Jasmine Barber
Email: jasminebarber8@gmail.com
Author Bio: My name is Jasmine Barber, and I am a 20-year-old black poet who lives in Portland, Oregon.
Link to social media or website: Instagram @poetryfromj


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2 responses to “A Letter To The Government

  1. Thanks for publishing this amazing poem. The cover picture is a but concerning. this picture is from a white feminist march while the poem is about the black experience and to use a this photo is pretty offensive. Black women do not even have pink pussys for crying out lout. This choice to use this picture shows that harness magazine lacks diversity. Any black author would and should be pissed that a picture like this was used then writing about their experience. Is there even a black person in the picture?

  2. Jasmine, your poem goes deep and is evocative. Being a black person in this country is challenging on so many levels and that challenge is hard to articulate to people. You’ve done that so masterfully with your words, and I hope this poem reaches an even bigger audience. Thank you sister!

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