I was thirteen when Papa gave me to you.
One small bag on the porch waited while you drove up the road. I asked Papa why he didn’t want me no more. Begging and pleading, that I’ll be good, just don’t send me away. But without a word he gave you my hand.
“Now go,” said Papa, to you, “she’s all yours.”
I wouldn’t go, holding on, but Papa pushed me away.
“Why, Papa, Why,” I yelled unyielding, wanting to stay.
He never answered, you said, “Your Papa owed a debt he couldn’t pay.”
I looked for the truth in my parent’s eyes. Momma shed tears, Poppa turned away .
That was the day you took me for payment
Dirt covered the road; black birds flew in the air. You drove us away smiling, talking. I said nothing.
Tears ran down my face as I looked back at my home, remembering a life with a family who thought of me as nothing but a commodity.
You took me that night, a child, with no future, a child with no life. My virtue was just an installment for a bill past due.
I cooked your meals, clean your house, worked your fields and got rode hard most nights. A slave to your well was my daily pill.
I tried to laugh at you jokes, tried to be good and make myself happy , but I was just payment for a debt Papa owed you.
I had your children, their love I didn’t feel. They suck from my tit, never touching my heart. They had your face, eyes and smile, the same I despised. Each one a reminder of a debt that cost me my freedom and my life.
You asked me once if I love you. I said, when you are payment, love can never grow true.
The years have passed and all the kids are grown, its time I left you for a brand new home
Now you come round here messing with me and my new man. Asking me why I left you with the crops still on the field. Why I treat you so bad after all these years?
I told you. Papa’s debt was paid in full, when I left you.
Now it’s my time to live this life for me.
For those who don’t have a voice
Copyright © 2013 Glynis Rankin