by Dee Allen

Sisters aren’t valued

In this world of ours

Seen nowhere on the streets

Not the hospitals, malls or bars

Because they’re



From the city

Headcount cut down in size.

Sisters aren’t respected

In this world of ours

Yet their kin are fraught w/ worry.

Long absence digs in the scars

Because they’re



From the city

Headcount falls before our eyes.

Sisters, mothers,

Aunties, lovers

Our hearts—snatched up suddenly.

Sisters, mothers,

Aunties, lovers

Police won’t help—where could they be?

W: 1.2.23

[ In response to Black women missing and murdered in Kansas City. ]



Headed to the “promised land” in droves

Attracted to bright urban lights

Like a swarm of sepia-toned moths

They arrive

In search of work

Safer homes

Altars to pray to

In search of the peace that

Living in the so-called

“Bible Belt” did not give them.

What kind of god

Would allow its own children to

Endure the jail cell

The slurs

Out of the mouths of babes & rednekkks

The noose that broke the neck

From a tree


For the crime of

Being born Black

The white hoods that made their Heaven

By making innocent lives Hell?

What kind of god

Would abandon its own children

To the mercy of hate?

To doors being shut to them

Because they are descendants of the enslaved?

They arrive

With a different kind of home in their hearts.

Among the dark mass, a young

Tsalagi* woman, her Black carpenter

Husband & their 2 daughters [ one a half-breed ]

Leave Virginia in the dust

Headed for the “promised land”

In the shadow of the Great Depression.

The Deep North welcomes them all.

W: 3.20.07

*Tsalagi [ pronounced “Chah-lah-gee” ]: What the Cherokee Indians call themselves.