JUSTIN BENT

Have you ever been greeted with a hug so warm?

A smile so bright it'd pierce the darkest storm

A demeanor so infectious mirrored on your own face

Then you've just been welcomed into a black space

Have you walked around a room with no hesitation?

No pressure from obscene and grand expectations

Conversations come naturally and flow at their own pace

Congrats, you are now mingling in a black space

A mix of cultures chosen with so much care

A menagerie of colors, you can't help but stare

Aromas so divine you can already taste

Get ready, you're about to chow down in a black space

At times there's talk of harsh truth and reality

Where lives are disparaged through laws and formality

Speak your truth of gender, sexuality or race

Free of judgement and fear while in a black space

And amidst all the voices, food and commotion

Well within your soul exudes one great emotion

The conclusion you've reached will forever be the case

You'll be welcomed and loved while in a black space

Black Space

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.

© Justin Bent, 2019

Free

© Justin Bent, 2019

Freedom, a universal ideal sought after

Free to express jubilation and laughter

Free to voice praise and adulation

Free is when we demand emancipation

Freedom, for which many live and die

Free to pursue when rights are denied

Free to demand justice for our own

Free to question what is condoned

Freedom, a trek to a nation promised

Free to make a living solid and honest

Free for your brutality to be excused

Free to be a headline on the local news

Freedom, inherited by some as others fight

Free held hostage in a box overnight

Free to a profile you never once held

Free to hang yourself inside your cell

Freedom, could we ask more of each other?

Free of your friends, siblings and mother

Free to a shelter reminiscent of a prison

Free to wish for the life you envisioned

Freedom, on this day of which we claim

Centuries passed yet much stays the same

So I ask of you what is unclear to me

How can I celebrate what we all claim to be?

Reparations

© Justin Bent, 2019

In life we learn

of days once passed

when bodies and lives

value quantified

In a system of earn

birthed wealth amassed

When families serve

for legacies to live

and a simple parchment

defined the course

What do we deserve

for what they did?

Some say none

it can’t be fair

the past is sad

and woe indeed

What’s done is done

A burden all do bear

Others do laugh

A plan so absurd

How could this nation

with so much guilt

make up even half

of what our past earned

I wish I could predict

what the future holds

It may seem far

And surreal for sure

But life will collect

For past due tolls

NRH POETS CORNER

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