Thoughts from a Black Mother

Editor’s Note: I am opening up the blog to my black friends to contribute their thoughts and experiences at this time of a reckoning in this country. I am happy to introduce you to the poetry of E.J. Wade. A year ago, we traveled to Spain and France together as part of Shepherd University’s Appalachian Studies program under the direction of Dr. S. Shurbutt. That trip seems another era ago now.

E.J. Wade is a teacher from Oak Park, Illinois. A graduate from Northwestern University she is currently in pursuit of a doctoral degree in Disability and Equity in Education from National Louis University. An artist and craftsperson, she collects words as she hums ancient spirituals. As an educator and a poet, she shares her love of words and her respect for family and traditions with her students and all whom she encounters. Her poetry is featured in the 2020 addition of the Anthology of Appalachian Writers: Crystal Wilkinson Volume XII.



For All My Sons

For all my sons
black, brown, red, and yellow
My nights are filled with
the sounds of sirens|
and broken glass

Blinded by the lights
strobing crimson and red
I close my eyes and
cover my ears
drowning out your cries
hidden in the silence
delivered beneath
the heaviness of

and combat boots

Your skin a mark, cursed by

Slavery and those who
fear your very presence

Shot down
and silenced

before you are able to grow
into the man who would


and grow old in wisdom.

This is not the dream
I had for you
Your birth was a
celebratory proclamation
of promise and possibility

Your cry anointing the earth
declaring your arrival a miracle

You are the one who would
leave a mark on the world


You would persevere
through struggle and encroachment
A warrior of your time
A champion to be reckoned with
The one who would


in the name of your
forefathers and foremothers
Let not the anger and rage
of these futile times
deter you from your mission

Let not violence change
your spirit and weather your soul
For you are your mothers’ sons

our present
our future

and without you
We are no more
than the ground beneath
our feet.


Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.


Yemi V.

about 3 years ago

Your poem evokes empowerment and reflection in such a time as this. We must never give up the fight for justice in America! I appreciate your poetry!💗


Patricia McFall

about 3 years ago

Wow! This is amazing! It speaks to EVERY black mother in the world!!!



about 3 years ago

Wow! I'm speechless.....this is simultaneously heart wrenching and inspiring. You summarize the whole current situation simply but yet not so simple.


Daphne Lecesne

about 2 years ago

Wonderful to read Elana Wade’s evocative words, her Motherly outcry , in this piece. My heartfelt congratulations on publication of the Anthology.


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