Some Didn’t Survive, poem by Emma Jordan-Simpson, 2018

Some Didn’t Survive

Some of our ancestors did not survive.
Didn’t survive the chase.
Didn’t survive the Middle Passage.
Didn’t survive Miss Anne and Massa.
Didn’t survive the Overseer.
Didn’t survive the House Negro.
Didn’t survive Emancipation without food and shelter; without
Didn’t survive reconstruction,
Didn’t survive Jim Crow,
Didn’t survive benign neglect,
Didn’t survive the Movement.

Oh Yes, many did because of faith,
Because of grit
Because of the power of community.

But many, many did not.

So, I’m not real inspired by the
“we’ve seen these days before.”
Some don’t make it
to the other side of that truth.

I harangue God
to be true to God’s character
on the daily now.

And I’m also hoping
we will keep an eye open,
a seat at the table,
a hug ready,
a job lead on tap,
a meal,
a room,
a hand ready
for those who are trying their best
to live another day
to tell the story
of how they made it through.

And I’ll worship
because there’s room at the Table
for people like me
who really are not feeling
the cultural celebration in Godly tests of endurance.
God ain’t had nothing to do
with the plan of terror underway right now.

God didn’t turn God’s back
on God’s son because
he became


Stop that.

That theology sucks and does not hold true.

God saw.
The policies,
the bruised ego of the king who would be God,
the power-hungry idol of state,
the beatings,
the abandonment,
the death.
And God said,

I will have the last word,
and my word is

I want life for every one
now facing the collusion
of this hateful moment.

And I’ll be whispering
their cause
in the ear of the Spirit
who gathers with us
at the Table today.



by Emma Jordan-Simpson; (arr. Philip Carr-Jones)

Published in “ISSUES at General Convention” #12, on 12 July 2018
Also published on 1 July 2018 on avoiceinramah blog:

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