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Justin Bent Portrait.jpg

My name is Justin Bent and I'm currently a student at TCC on a path to become a pharmacist. My connection to poetry has evolved throughout the years and first started out as a means of making sense of the world around me. Now I use my writing for that as well as expressing my inner thoughts and feelings to others in hopes that they're able to glean something from my perspective.

Shackles to Shackles

© Justin Bent, 2021

A life of toil and subjugation

A body branded by time and metal

Family bonded through much tribulation

On land that ought never been settled


News comes through far and wide

A prospect of life anew

No choice but to confide

“Our freedom, long overdue!”


The lives of Black soldiers and labor

Given and taken in countless score

And a white voice to stall the savor

“You people have nothing to cheer for”


There’s a debt you still owe us

This freedom won’t come free

Hell, if we’re going to talk business

You still belong to me


You’ll keep working on my land

For what I deem is fair and right

Any new ideas or demands

These codes will show the light


But here’s a cause for celebration

As I’ll give you a choice of hell

Either shackled on this plantation

Or chained together in a jail cell

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