never understood what praise would be like without a pulse

The chorus without the base line, reverberating through church walls

Thought without a promise for more inquisition

Learning without a bruise

Across the southern heat and stick of playground turf where our spirits danced Never could picture what blackness would be like without the strife

The achingly red sun worry that we might not make it past the streetlight That running was all we knew how to do

praying was our language no one could strip from our tongue

And toughness was like the turf,

Was like our father’s back on Monday night dinners When we never brought up what binded us to…


I dug a hole near my bedside window and planted

my petals for you.

not the seeds, then I didn’t know no better

I pick the prettiest thing I see

like mama do, in the window of a store too cold

for my shivering hands — so I will wait

but this morning is high and smells of sunday singing

low under breaths of church women who have maybe seen

sadness too many nights in a row

to be called holy anymore,

but they’re on time everywhere

so mama why can’t we?

did god put a spell on black folk…


Notes: On Traveling Alone in Your Early 20's

The lug of 5 am motion is familiar to you. Ever since childhood we have been moving, if only begrudgingly, toward distant relative reunions and budget hotels. We are the generation of push and pull, sight seeing and sore eyes. I’m 20, and ever since I can remember, the only promise that’ll wake me up at hazy hours of the night is one of travel. At 4 years of age, I’d take my mothers hand and get swept up in a big airplane, rubbing my morning tears to arrive quickly somewhere new. This is what I called the closest thing to magic. …

About

Makeda Sandford

young moon girl.

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