Free Trade Agreement

Writing in the Margins Runner-Up: Poetry

Photo via Reuters

they proclaimed the slaves free
the slave trade
became free trade
and they made millions
selling black futures

they turned indigo to crack
and gave the nooses a little slack
yet still

unnamed and branded
we now service brand names
as they tightly clutch purses
our black fingers
have made

and officers
plainly clothed
help fuel the white flight
putting shackles on our wrists
to ensure we stay grounded
and delayed.

craning head over shoulder
fearing dark skin above dark hearts
they stain the streets
our children
our dreams
our blood

the reminder:
we are neither foreign
nor domestic

Phillip Dwight Morgan is a Toronto-based essayist and poet of Jamaican heritage. His writings on race and politics have appeared in Maclean’s, CBC, the Toronto Star, The Walrus, the Huffington Post, and several Canadian magazines.

Readers like you keep Briarpatch alive and thriving. Subscribe today to support fiercely independent journalism.