born into an ethic of separate
and apart, knows nothing of the promise of oneness
and the slow release of held breath when I glimpse
that I’m not.
my foremothers in the summer kitchen, preserving
(1 part berries : 1 part sugar, splash of lemon)
lived the kinship of shovel sun soil hands
jam on buttered bread.
heads bowed under kerchief, shushing children, devoted
(1 part fervour : 1 part obedience, splash of sorrow)
sang the hymns of their mothers on hard benches in one voice,
but the air is made of argon too, and contains
the breath of all others, the ones not on hard benches, or making jam
no lines in the sand made of belief or blood
not them, just us.
today with my own shovel, sifting through roots and buds
(1 part rage : 1 part faith, splash of sorrow)
I sing “Ain’t got no, I got life” at full volume with Nina, two voices
Here is the awesome Nina Simone song I mention: