I’m like Fannie Lou Hamer,
A mama with three kids and no job tired.
I’m tired of bleeding, crying,
And sleeping with my fists balled up,
And my eyes just as tight.
But for this kinda anger,
Rising inside of me?
There are no days off.
I’m tired of sirens, tears, signs,
No shoulder support just jail support to
Go to court
Because it is s a fight to exist,
But I can’t call off
Because I ain’t got no days off.
I’m tired of paying attention.
I’m tired of fighting to be relevant to
People that don’t love me, see me, or
See me as real, relevant, valiant or available.
I’m tired of benches, jumpsuits, my name on lawsuits,
Hotel kitchenettes, bail funds, because
Don’t no body Go Fund Me or Stay close
Because they claim they
Can’t stay when they ain’t got no days off.
I’m tired of the quiet to make room for the loud.
I’m tired of pretending I’m alright
After I see my brother’s color
Whose bleeding is feeding the ground.
Dying, lost, and limping
But I can’t keep lying ‘cause I’m really
Trying to be alright, but ain’t no way to
Stop the ache, and breathe at the same time,
Because I work at nine,
I don’t get no days off.
I focus on the Cross that carries,
This legislation that varies,
Watch those that decline Movement,
Because they are scary.
I watch who records.
I watch who eye rolls.
I watch the low polls.
I watch the media who
Treated my blackness as
Disease and my voice with
Its roar as fodder and noise.
My life is not nothing.
My being is not for sale.
I take my blackness everywhere
Because there are no days off.
-Jennifer P. Harris
(c) JBHarris, 11.3.17
*-The title of this work is from State Representative Bruce Franks, Jr. from St. Louis, Missouri. At the end of a battle rap session, he had a black hoodie with a silver Superman emblem on it. On the back of the hoodie, were the words “NO DAYS OFF.” That phrase, and his passion were cemented in my creative conscious. This work is a nod to all of us, no matter the capacity, doing what is called in this social justice movement, “this work”. There is enough to do, that we don’t have time to point at whom isn’t doing something. Be a support. Love on one another. Care for one another. We all need it. Thank you, Mr. Franks. Thank you to all those that do, did and still are alive and remain. I love y’all and I love us. In the immortal words of a shero, “We lit.”