Benign Soul

by Nicole Hayes

My master has a benign soul.

Denying me opportunity to learn.

Hanging my intellectualism,

on branches near the surface.

My deep wounds are covered,

in bandages too small to mask the pain.

I sweep the tears under rugs,

allowing darkness to win the battle.

I am a slave.

Running through fields of stigmas,

attached to my brown skin,

escaping chains of my inner self.

Nicole Hayes is a first-year graduate student in the Women’s History Program. Her area of interest is in Black feminism, especially Black queer women’s involvement in social and political activism.

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