There is deepness in my eyes/a deepness sculptured/from the journey
of my grandmother’s strength and the passion inflamed through the energy
of many ancestors who have risen through the tunnels of defeat
molded from the sweat and scars of pride as they continue to march
in every pour of my textured definition/a familiar recognition/that strengthens
my soul to stand on these thirty-four year old tired feet.
Take a good look at this face and see all that is hidden
behind the mask of my hearts embrace/ my stare have walked
through fields of ignorance for many years shielded
by a self-made disguise and guided by the tracks of my own tears;
I’ve been a gladiator battling in the coliseum of life with no amour
to defend the shadows of pain and no mediator to shield me
from the hardship and sadness of an internalized stain,
but still I’ve stood in victory/determined/with faded sideburns
showcasing the genetics of honor and the biology of discovery
because those who have come before me have taught me to rise
and find the prize within me and hold it as a trophy/shining bright;
a reward recognized in the chiseled framework of my chin
and the fight that exploded from the definition in my cheek bones.
So take a good look at this face and uncover all that is hidden
and discover the many places my blood has traveled.
Tarringo T. Vaughan