His Tongue

slavery

According to Mister Frederick Douglass
in the late 19th Century, a young slave
was stopped on a trip back to the plantation
and quizzed by a bastard going the other way.

When asked about his master, the enslaved told
the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth
the way the Holy Bible and all the damned
religious books tell us we should. And what then?

Weeks passed … nothing happened. The poor man went on
about his business, thinking he was all right.
One fine day, in the middle of morning,
the man was beaten with a bull whip and shipped

down the river, 500 miles away
from his entire life – his children and wife,
punishment for the wretched transgression
of daring to speak his mind without holding…

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