Coffee People

Excerpt from Poem Book 3: “A Shadow of Society”

My dad likes to tell me;

we’re “coffee people”.

Likes to play it off, like the drink wasn’t the crop our people were made to pick.

Like we weren’t labelling ourselves, as a beverage I buy with change.

As if our blood runs black and quick.

Like my ancestors did,

when chanced freedom flickered,

they didn’t need a jolt to run into the hills.

He calls us “coffee people”, like we weren’t labelling ourselves with the oppression of stolen lives.

Captured souls,

shipped off,

To worlds they should have never seen,

Never be apart of,

whipped to be tame.

We’ve seemed to label ourselves,

with bitter taste,

like dog bites and bullets,

Used to capture and put down, what chains could never hold.

you wouldn’t think that words would sit just as cold.

He calls us coffee people,

As if a plant could symbolize this rant//

Written so deeply in my soul it takes no effort to repeat.

He calls us coffee people,

he says it as if saying:

Don’t taste the sour death in each cup,

Like we didn’t lose so many for mere beans,

mere tokens of economic necessity.

He calls us coffee people,

to be identity,

As if we didn’t want to be free and were told

No, you’re property. //

When ordering coffee, they ask how do you like it.

some people put cream in their coffee,

to mellow out the bite,

Smooth the taste they can’t stand,

because all they want is the high,

The feeling,

the buzz,

the power.

can’t handle the slight tinge of bitter death,

as stolen lives seep past their lips,

So they look to water down the purity,

When in reality,

This metaphor rings true of slavery,

Bloodlines hollowed out

human commodity,

Valued once as African treasure,

Turned out to keep it down.

as if,

though times may change

the idea still remains:

What you want,

just take it.

Can’t handle it,

try and break it.

When asked how I take it,

I think,

just like my fallen people

I’ll take my coffee black.