Poem: A Black Man for A Black Woman

I refuse to compete
For you as my help-meet.

I cannot be her lightened complexion,
I do not have her hair or lengthening extensions.

There is no white mixture
And my curves are permanent fixtures.

These features of blackness
Came from a long line of Princesses,

And Pharaoh Queens!
My eyes are as dark as coffee beans.

My broad nose of comeliness and knowledge,
And my voluptuous black-cherry lips do not speak rubbish.

I cannot and will not compete
For you as my help-meet.

I wish you can see yourself in my eyes
And see you are worth more than your compromise.

Your complexities and low self-esteem
Detracts from your kingship and rebukes your queen.

I’m your “blacker the berry sweeter the juice”
Plus I would give you a daily vitamin C boost.

Strengthening you when you’re weary of this life
And we can wail together of this burdensome strife.

I want you to be my husband where no-one can put asunder
If you cannot promise me this our marriage may plunder!

I shall not be tempted to compete
For you as my help-meet.

I’ve always upheld you in my right hand
And petitioned to God to make you into a man

Of integrity and righteousness.
To celebrate your spirituality and blackness.

I’ve already named our children Zachariah and Zion
I’ve already woven our white sheets to lie on.

Milk, honey suckle, and coconut balm
Guavas, mangoes, and trees of palm.

This is where I’m from.
I say because I know you’re wondering ‘which Island?’

I rather turn away than compete
For you as my help-meet.

My smooth skin dances with the sun
Not one bit of me is light or blonde.

Demerara sugar, mud, and tamarind
Are as brown as my Guyanese skin,

I do not get up when the sun rise
And I do not go to be bed when the sun dies.

Because I am too busy writing
And Aspiring

To be your lover
And overcoming scars that I suffer.

I’m too dignified to compete
For you as my help-meet.

From the threshing floor, still I rise
And my starving soul refuses to die!

My words you carefully trample upon
But even with your boot print I carry on

Writing and yearning
While God allows lessons for my learning.

I am a woman of proverbs 31
That will birth your daughter and son.

I’m willing to wash our clothes by the river
Cook, sew, and clean for coins of silver

Yet I’m repulsed to compete
For you as my help-meet.

Everything else I would do and more
Include loving you as often as the torrential rain pours

I want to wash and shampoo your locks
And untangle your kinky knots

Plait your wool-like hair into rows of corn
Never cutting your hair, where your strength was spawned.

Our single struggling mothers
Will be like sorority sisters

And our fallen-away fathers
Will become bands of brothers.

This is a poem about a Blackman for a Black woman
And I believe that God is in control of our plans.

But I still stand and show my defiance to compete
For you as my help-meet! So what will be, will be.


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