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Week 9 "Our singing brought..."

Poems written by Untold Stories poets in response to the prompt “Our singing brought” from "An Old Story" by Tracy K. Smith.

~who we are~

- Teiana McGahey

our singing brought

truths from places deep down

our dancing brought

freedom and wisdom from our bodies

our love brought

peace and strength from the earth

our joy brought

liberation and life



Our Singing Looks Good on Us

- Erica B. Edwards

We came 100,000 strong

To share cognac emojis

And our beautiful Black affiliations

While the DJ spun us back to simpler times

And our bedrooms and kitchens and living rooms and bathrooms

Transformed into the red roped

Leather couched


Bottle poppin’

VIP section

We dream about, but don’t always get to sit in.

Even our forever president posted up

(Like we always knew he would).

This new definition of stunt

Looks good on us.

Swag swerves

In pajama pants

Home haircuts

And bonnets


And then we did it again


To New Jack Swing

In all the ways it does too much

While we were entertained by the softer side of shade

Their genius reminding us

Of all the love

And all the dancing

They made for us

Since our Mama’s and Auntie’s and them

Been fly.

We dusted our bamboos out of retirement

And woke our babies

To tell them they don’t know nothing about this.

Because it was just that good.

Even if there was an echo or kick back

Or an unnecessarily long piano rendition of hits that sound just as good when you press play.

We all love somebody who is 25 years behind the rest of us.

So when Facebook exploded with #tbt pictures of our Daddies and Uncles and them

With gumbies

And flat-tops

And silk shirts

And herring bones.

We had more joy than a little bit

Because times are always good

Even when they are bad.

These ethnomusicological masterclasses

more valuable than their weight in gold

Showing us how much we been shining.

Culture doesn’t breathe in a text book.

This new definition of learning looks good on us.

And then the Spirit of God

(Who was present in all these things)

Spoke to remind us that adoration of the Most High

Whomever we conceive it to be

Brings forth the newness we sang for on these and distant shores.

So all of gospel royalty revealed their gifts

From the comfort of their homes

And we were reminded to smile

And give a total praise

And we were covered again

With the assurance

That trouble don’t last always.

Some of us came back to the Lord

through Live Stream

Standing next to our beds

Hands raised

Tears streaming

Tarrying in the presence

With no other saints to witness

But our little ones

(Who are closest to God anyway).

All the stuff we never understood about Granny’s religion

Standing out in relief.

If it was good enough for her.

It is good enough for me.

It’s easier to be sincere

To pour your heart out

when no one is watching.

This new definition of worship looks good on us.

And we needed to be lifted up when they canceled our meeting at the crossroad

To find out who run it.

So it was a divine gift when the ever powerful children of the goddesses

Gave word that they were holding court.

And so we came over half a million strong

To sit at their feet and pay our respects.

The soundtrack to our first grown experiences

Playing all night

While we allowed ourselves to be surprised by how much we didn’t need to turn up to tune in.

All of our mistakes

And good fortune

And politics

On display

With raised glasses

And shared adoration.

All of our happy days

And ecstatic nights

And exes

Bubbling up in our memories

As we marveled at the scars that are proof of our healing.

It was a tangible reminder of how much we needed each other then

And how much we need each other


Because we’re not a do it alone type of people.

This new definition of sisterhood looks good on us.

And as the months wane on

And the questions linger

And the distance abounds as a matter of our Black lives

This is the proof

That our singing sustains us

our dancing frees us

our hope lives in our expressions.

And as surely as the drum speaks

Our singing will bring us through this



Our Singing

-Leseliey Rose Welch

Our singing calls yesterday into today

and tomorrow in to being

melting time

Our singing wakes the Gods

in us

a reminder we are creators

and world makers

Our singing says our ancestors were here

feeling, living, loving, resisting

it offers us

their faith in better days

Our singing prays our suffering soothed

our minds renewed

our bodies move

like palms in rhythms of joy

Our singing paints bricks yellow

silences tyrants

stitches blue skies

bears the light

and midwifes freedom

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