Stolen


A poem in response to the painting, “Wagon Wheel” by Michele Wood in the I Lay My Stitches Down series on display in the Covenant Fine Arts Center at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI in April 2104.  In the painting, a slave woman is morning as a white man takes her daughter forcibly.  The white man's shadow has horns like a devil.

Stolen, stolen!
My baby’s been stolen.
She don’t belong to you.
She aint come from insite you.
She aint suck from yo teet.
You aint woke with her sick at night
Burning hot as blazes
Hot as the pot in the fire.
She my life.  She my blood.
She mine, mine, mine.

Stolen, stolen?
Why you wailin woman?
She don’t belong to you no ways.
You aint bought her at market.
You aint put meat on her plate.
You aint put clothes on her back. 
You stood waiting at market
Burning hot as blazes
Hot as the pot in the fire.
She my stock.  She my goods.
She mine, mine, mine.

Stolen, stolen.
He don’t belong to hisself.
He aint chose his own way.
He aint thought bout what he do.
He go to church and say his prayers
And do my will.
He work and work and work,
But I there all the time
Burning hot as blazes
Hot as the pot in the fire.
He my life.  He my blood.
He mine, mine, mine.