Like a Southern Whisper By Latanya Hardaway

photo of Latanya Hardaway working with paints
Latanya Hardaway. Photo credit: Cindy Brown Photography

I wanted to share this poem by a C4 Atlanta Hatch artist, Latanya Hardaway. Latanya shared this poem with us during Hatch a few weeks ago. Prior to her reading this poem, we had lengthy and weighty discussions about race, white supremacy culture, privilege and considerations for artists working with community. I have to say, I admire the heck out of this cohort. Each person in that class listens intently to one another. They also provide amazing support to one another. Latanya is no exception. I have been fortunate to get to know her more, along with her son, Earl. Both are part of the C4 family.

I asked Latanya if she would allow me to share her poem. I hope you enjoy it.

 

Like a Southern Whisper By Latanya Hardaway

I walked in the circle of change.

I bend over and picked the flowers from the garden newly planted.

I felt the breeze and listened quietly as the birds chirped.

I saw things that I’d never seen here.

Here where Sunday dinners were at Mom and Dad’s house.

I saw organic coffee shops, neighborhood gardens.

The air’s not really better from how dad sees it.

Looking through dad’s eyes, he’s painted a picture of pain.

Looking through dad’s eyes, I see anger and feel the fear of his 70 plus years.

Looking through dad’s eyes I see the change made by the “green”. Looking through Dad’s eyes, I see the alien takeover: making nothing look like home.

Then I see in his eyes a question, “Will there be a place for me?” And like a southern whisper of a word you dare not say out loud; a green organic alien speaks to him and says,” Bless your heart. Of course there will be a place for you.”

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