Transported to another time
I’m seated on the auction block of the courtroom.
Curious spectators wait to witness a legal lynching.
The court stenographer chronicles every spoken word,
History will not forget this day.
Waist chains gird my wrists and waists.
Lay shackles fastened to my ankles,
I’m transported to another time when men hunted men, cruelly enslaving them.
Not as prisoners of war but for profits.
I am a commodity reduced to invisibility,
where batteries of neuro psychologists and psychiatrists
are paid thousands of dollars not to testify about my humanity,
but about my saneness, my fitness to be tried,
to be executed.
Every morning the sun rises I chant an African battle hymn.
Every evening the sun sets I chant a freedom song.
I am stronger today than I was yesterday but not as strong as I will be tomorrow.
Victory is mine.
County jail buses are vessels containing black, brown and white bodies.
I am transported to another time where slave ships have morphed into slave buses.
Where slave fort is the new prison fort.
Where a whip, a rope, a chain utilized to punish, brutalize and control
are updated to tasers, pepper sprays and stun guns.
Commanded by men and women who wear green, the color of money, the color of greed.
I’m transported to another time when I’m poked and prodded.
Flanked by armed guards. Misdirected and directed to kneel, to be still.
And when the shackles come unclamped, I am not free to walk out of a prison, but into a cage, another fort where I sleep until I am transported to the plantation ,
Steve Champion (Adisa Kamara)
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Poetry, writing & Lessons in Life from San Quentin death row