Ballad of the Muted

Up the steep stairspainted white by former slaves,you twist the handleas if breaking off grapes.You ask, “What day is it?”but their faces are graves,whiteness a tombstoneamidst forgotten prayers. Because something is buried here,but you don’t know what it is.Do you, Mr. Smith? You look for a chairto rest your wounded knee,the overgrown trailfull of feathers […]


Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Mother Emanuel I am Mother Emanuel.Listen, can you hear my bells ring?Nine times in remembrance of June 17th.I recall Charleston, 1818my members arrestedfor reading,we felt each lash of that beating. I am Mother Emanuel, AME, 1822the trees outside hang heavyfrom tax white lies levy.Prisoners weigh more thanwinter’s ice and snow.Lives as punishment foreach slave revolt. […]