Yes, My Retarded Ass Signed Up
An ass backwards acronym
Serve my country?
So tell me what happened then
Back when I was fieldhand
Slaving in the hot sun
From dusk 'til dawn
Until I got the job done
Stole my family and shipped me off to foreign lands
Unknowing of when I would see Motherland again
Then Abe declared the E.P.
So tell me
Have I really been free since 1863?
And I still ain't seen 40 acres
And a mule or no reparations
I get segregation, degradation
And white's against integration
Discrimination ain't new to me
I appreciate Mrs. Parks
That's why I sit in the front bus seats
Jim Crow tried to hold me down
Black activists of the 60's
Helped to make my silence turn sound
Sold my soul to the government
I got the M.G.I. bill
Not here for the honor of it
Patriotism went out the door
If that's the case soldier
Then what the hell are you here for?
I wrote this while I was in a training class at Basic Training in Fort Jackson, SC. One of my drill sergeants was reading over my shoulder as I was brainstorming about what could come after the line, "Patriotism went out the door." The drill sergeant laughed at me then said, "If that's the case soldier then what the hell are you here for?" What he said made sense and it rhymed, so I decided to keep it.
A poem from "Just My Thoughts: Mind, Body & Soul" by J.D. Laws, July 2006.
Just My Thoughts:
Mind, Body & Soul
Handwritten short review by legendary poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator Nikki Giovanni for "Just My Thoughts: Mind, Body & Soul"
"It's not a #1 record but Just My Thoughts: Mind, Body & Soul catches the times of the heart and minds. Thank you so very much for sharing with me."
(side note: It's dated one day after my 22nd birthday! I cried and died when I saw that part!!) #Won'tHeDoIt! Yasss!!!
Dear J.D. -
I'm delighted to grant permission. Good luck! Keep on keeping on.
(her response to allow me to use her review for promotion)
(side note: This is dated two days after her 67th birthday!)
This is Nikki Giovanni's review for my still unreleased book of poetry, "R.I.S.E."
THIS is why I'm NOT stopping!
Celebrated ICON, poet, memoirist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou acknowledged receiving my book with this kind card!