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A Poem by Elizabeth Brooks: Needles and Pins

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Needles and Pins

Pins & Needles

not in my hands, feet

or body but in my spirit.

I open my eyes, I am wound up

with a tortured soul.

Who will be captured, grabbed

or snatched next?

I am afraid to witness

another lynching.

Oh, something is coming,

coming through my Spirit.

I begin to hum an

unknown Negro spiritual

and I walk and wave my arms

throughout my home

and I moan from deep within.

Then I see a proud Black woman

from back in the day and the

Holy Spirit carries her

with a quiet dignity

and I heard His whisper, you will

not be stripped of your humanity,

and she treads on needles & pins.

I witness her pleasant face, her grace

I dry my bitter tears

from streaming down my face - our souls are

tied together. Though she can’t

see me, I am she and she is me. We

represent and reflect then and now

still living in fear. How do we reconcile?

How do we save our kind, our kin, our skin?

Jesus, I know you have shown righteous

anger, with the money changers.

Jesus, I am laying this bundle of trouble

this excessive burden of my people at the

foot of Your cross.

This battle is wickedness and pure evil.

I know your humanity and also your


Like that woman, yes I can walk

with a quiet dignity and maintain

my humanity because of Your identity.

Holy Spirit, You are my witness

As I tread, on needles & pins.

Pins & needles, Jesus, I know you will

FIX THIS! Because only You can calm my soul

You are - the Light of the World.

© Elizabeth Brooks

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