‘Heroes’

Handprint on fabric - symbolic of mark left by heroes

My heroes were undefeated,

they pre-dated clout,

my heroes stung and didn’t float,

there was no ego,

so they were not one to flaunt,

my heroes eroded,

my heroes succumbed,

my heroes were subdued,

my heroes were lynched,

my heroes were imprisoned in their mind and their bodies,

my heroes became static,

my heroes folded,

my heroes stopped breathing,

my heroes allowed the world to take them whole,

my heroes started to follow,

my heroes become hollow,

my heroes are still stuck in tomorrow,

my heroes wallow in despair,

my heroes do not see a respite,

my heroes do this in spite,

my heroes do not bite,

my heroes just bark,

my heroes are now frightened of the dark,

my heroes have been conscripted to a fallacy,

my heroes no longer seek clemency,

my heroes used to cry for human decency,

my heroes used to demand common courtesy,

my heroes used to….

Samer Ismail (AKA The Urban Nomad) is a poet and a recent graduate from SOAS with honours in BA African Studies and Politics. You can visit Samer’s website at theurbannomadpoetry.wordpress.com/

This blog is part of our Black History Month 2020 series, which celebrates black voices and achievements over time, and across the globe. The series features contributions from SOAS alumni, academics, and students. If you enjoyed this poem, take a look at The Urban Nomad’s other poems, ‘Breathing’, and ‘For Hooyo and Abo…Mainly Hooyo’.

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