from his hand, the cotton folded,
and from hers, she spun rough string.
then from his, the letters bolded,
but from her tongue no songs to sing.
from his heart, he felt no pumping
her cuts and scrapes had not left marks,
from the wheel, he heard the thumping,
from her eyes, she looked as stark.
their posture spoke obedience,
with feet and arms that hurt as such,
in their thoughts, all fists were clenched,
though their souls felt cold to touch.
from his hand, the paper stolen,
and from hers, the same, again,
and in his mouth, the gums were swollen,
her eyes, a place always like fen.
“respect” their cold leader once said,
“is what you ought to have.”
their labor left them feeling dead,
and for this, he had no salve.
from the thread they harvested,
they sewed him his expensive clothes,
and once the laborers felt bested,
he raised his hand, more came in droves.
laborers and slaves built america