A glass of milk
from the hand of a slave
loses its richness
and the dunked cookies
leave a bitter aftertaste.

Even if the house
once kept slaves
freed by emancipation,
the Union Army
and the thirteenth amendment,
there is no sustenance
in the portions served.

A ghost I christened Jupiter,
after a character
in the movie Glory,
rattles the chains
of my enslaved mind.

My country
refuses responsibility
and restitution,
the promised
forty acres and a mule.
Tarnishes this year’s
Juneteenth jubilee.

Such a heartache.
Deep down in the midst of plenty.
Past the civil rights movement.
During the open racism
of the Trump administration.
The stroke of reckoning pungent
when the abused
holds mastery over the abuser.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


Jupiter Sharts is the character’s full name from the movie Glory. I chose the character’s last name for the title as if to create a new verb or noun. Sharts: that moment when the abused takes mastery over the abuser.

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