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.”