A Time To Be Freed by Rashaad Thomas

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy


Black bodies swing in the southern breeze
Children cut from stomachs hanging
Blood on the roots, blood on the leaves

Protests walk through tired cities
No justice no peace for the world seeing  
Black bodies swing in the southern breeze

From their twisted mouth, I heard them plead
“My hands are up, stop shooting”
Blood on his hands blood on his sleeves

Scent of magnolias fresh and sweet
From the sun rotting, from trees dropping
Black bodies sing in the southern breeze

Strange bodied fruit on strange bloody trees
No more weeping, no more wailing
Blood on the roots blood on the leaves

A time to be born, a time for dying
A time to plant, a time to be freed
Black bodies swing in the southern breeze
Blood on the roots blood on the leaves


Rashaad Thomas is a husband, father, USAF Veteran, poet, and South Phoenix, AZ community member. His work can be found in a number of publications, most notably in the book Trayvon Martin, Race, and American Justice: Writing Wrong. He is a member of the Gutta' Collective based in the Phoenix, a group committed to sharing a Black and Brown narrative through art and poetry to give a voice to the silent, isolated, and marginalized.