By .

thought they took it away
when they exchanged our crowns for chains
not knowing where I was headed
I tried to remember the footprints
In the sand
I followed the man
to a ship
On it engraved
“Blacks only”

Only blacks
They tried to attack
So I ran
Back through the sand
Feeling the pressure
Of my grandmother on my heels
she revealed
Pointing to my heart
She said this is where you start
And ever since
It all made sense
they couldn’t take
what I was told to embrace
away from me
my grandmother paved for me
A road I was allowed to walk on
She was silenced
I was allowed to speak
So when I scream I try to teach
why the black woman is said to be angry
We were possessions never the prize
His story told so many lies
that’s when I knew
I had to become the voice for you
through darkness the only way to get through the night
Is to follow the sounds that lead you to light
blinded but able to hear
I can feel her close she’s very near
whispering the legacy
on the road she paved for me
I wait for other women
so they can too find peace

(From Understorey Magazine, Issue 10, 2017)

About Guyleigh Johnson

Guyleigh Johnson is a poet/spoken-word artist from North-end Dartmouth. She started writing at a young age but didn't start to take it seriously until high school when a close family member died in a car crash. Finding an outlet to cope with her grieving she wrote poem after poem. Her poetry focuses on the needs of inner city youth and the challenges they face on a daily basis. From teenage mothers, jail time, drugs and more she tries to put herself in their shoes to view their perspective on life. Mainly to share their truth, Johnson believes "hurt people help people" and a common connection we all share is pain. In October 2016, she released her first collection of poetry entitled Expect the Unexpected (Pottersfield Press). Currently, she is enrolled at Dalhousie University with the hopes of obtaining a degree in journalism. She is also a Youth Coordinator for the Dartmouth Boys and Girls Club as well as an African Student Support Worker for the Halifax Regional School Board. One of her goals is to give back to the community by empowering youth to see their potential and to realize the importance of self-love.

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