by Jean Valentine

This man, blind and honored,
listens to his student reader;
this man did what he thought he should do
and sickens in jail; another
comes to the end of his work;
another threw himself out.

Us too, our destinies get on,
into middle age.

Today we visited a field of graves-
slaves' or Indians' graves, you said-
sunk, unmarked, green edges of hammered granite
sharp as a shoulder blade.
God break me out
of this stiff life I've made.

Last updated March 18, 2023