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I Didn't Listen to My First Mind


I didn’t listen to my first mind.

This morning I woke up

Knowing it was July 4th

And how triggering

This day could be for me

I thought about taking a

Break from social media today.


I didn’t listen to my first mind.

I came across a post

With the necessary

And reckoning words

From Frederick Douglass,

“What, to the Slave,

Is the 4th of July?’


As I read it, I thought,

how deranged

One must be

To feel their freedom

Can only be secured

By taking it away

From someone else?


Then I read a post

that said

“Liberty and Justice for All”


The caption asked me

To celebrate a country

That has spent more time

Taking away "liberty and justice"

From people like me

Then it has spent giving it.


I didn’t listen to my first mind.

Lastly, I ran across a post.

Praying for this country.

I thought, well, maybe this time.

Maybe this post.


The prayer talked about

This country losing sight of its first love

And for that, I am eternally grateful.


I'm so glad this country has

Lost sight of putting legalities

In place to dehumanize me.

Well, at least to the

Level that it once did.


I didn’t listen to my first mind.

Then I thought

"Paula, we're going with our first mind!"


Today I celebrate my ancestors

who bought my freedom,

with their blood,

and who were bold enough

to take the rights

others tried to deny us.


And remember the oppression

That is born out of fear

and a demented

sense of self

Always has an expiration date.

And in the meantime,

We're going to keep fighting

For those who continue to suffer

Before the time is up


So today,

Because I dared to look,

I focus not so much

On the ideals this country has yet to realize


But I choose to focus on Psalm 103: 6,

"The Lord works

righteousness and justice

for all the oppressed."


And I chose to look and

See the hurting of others,

The oppression that exists,

The injustice that still prevails


And join with God in that work.











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