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.