EH (July 5th 1986 Cancer's Stand Up! / Fayetteville, North Carolina)

An Agreement

We had an agreement…

Our warriors would engage in combat with neighboring tribes to capture slaves for this new popular trade
We’ve been at odds for ages, so it was nothing to complete this task
If you asked me how I could enslave my own kind I would stare at you dead in the eye and reply:
It’s only business, nothing personal

Plus these merchants paid well
No matter how many eyes I saw swell with tears throughout the years of my command, I pitied no man
We had an agreement…

I would later learn these slaves would end up all over the world.
Haitian islands, Muslim lands, and places I’ve never even heard of
They say every slave’s plea was to die in passage or to become shark feed in the sea…
Better than a life of servitude I suppose
I never thought I would know because
We had an agreement…

In the beginning, most of the men I dealt with had skin the color of ebony
After a while, merchants anchored on our beaches with a hue I had never seen
They were pale like the piercing tusk of an elephant
To me, it was irrelevant
We had an agreement…

They would not trespass on our land as long as we provided the captives
In return they provided us with ample financial compensation and military superlatives
We would soon find out these men’s lust for power never diminished
Like demons or evil spirits who needed to feed on their greed
No matter how much the seemed to consume in my arrogance I still assumed we had an agreement…

One day, there were no captives left, and the attention shifted to my tribe
I instructed the women and children to run and hide
Strong warriors I had plenty and we fought valiantly
In the end their weapons were too much to contain
Now I’m chained, lying next to my former enemy head to toe
Once a King… now a slave
Nothing of our land remains
Only the image burning in my brain of me shaking that devils hand saying “we have an agreement”

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Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

Comments (1)

A great message Eddie beautifully penned Thanks a lot for sharing