by Kelly Williams
To those that boycotted because Michelle Obama was named the spokesperson for Subway healthy eating campaign.
Call her monkey,
Call her common,
not worthy of sitting on white throne
Call her black ink blot in your
call her tar baby blues
Call her negro, nigga, never made it
Call her heretic
Call her communist
Call her black cloud reigning over white sky
Say that nothing black will ever guide your tongue
that no one the color of soot and sawdust will ever tell
you what to put in your mouth.
Well I seem to remember, Massah’
I seem to remember how we
stirring wooden spoon,
mixing magic in kitchen,
mixing fried freedom in forms of lard- smothered dough
and fat back, how we ham hocked our way onto your dinner
table, smothered peas and pork chop, peach cobbler
slithered our necks into your dining room.
How we collard -green glided across plate into mouth,
spicy scrambled egged and flap jacked on your fork,
hot watered corn bread coaxed our way onto your table cloths,
and you ate every bit of us.
You sopped up our syrup biscuit with butter
and molasses, drowned us down with tooth-aching sweet tea
and you loved our sugar.
You licked us off your fingers and begged
for seconds. We, the cook, the server, the dishwasher,
the background music to your meals
singing, “food so good, stuck my foot in it”,
singing “all my sweat and spit went in that soup”
and you ignored our forthright song,
your bellies full with greed.
We have been the decider of what meanders
into your cotton mouths for centuries, you smug snake.
You have been tasting our sweat and tears-
jagged Jehovah notes floating into every recipe,
been tasting our sorrow and sincerest hate.
So take a seat at our table. Let us fix you one final plate
of harsh reality. I hope it goes down like gumbo glass slivers
so when you start to boycott, when you warm your throat to speak
you will feel how deeply we rest on your tongue.