by Nagueyalti Warren
Summer finds her pregnant again
heat rash zigzags her long neck.
She sings a lullaby to Yoki who gurgles
fat fingers find her baby teeth.
Martin for dinner again is late.
Cabbage and pork chops wait.
Her lemon pie runs, and yellow kitchen
steams like southern sun, a spotless spot.
Walter Cronkite drones on black
and white when
Thunder not from clouds but crowds
of white not rain but insane hate
and fear erupts. Through smoke she sees
her willow blue vase—grand heirloom—
shattered in the rubble of the picture
window blown to tiny fragments.
She watches him rush to her side.
She whispers, dinner is ruined.
Black people come with guns and bats
Men prepared to strike back.
His hand halts them, says
don’t go so low. Let us pray.
They pray through clenched teeth.
Armed black men don’t go away.
They board up plate glass window hole.
Firearms ready these men will stay.
In their room he rocks her to sleep.
She dreams of pink sand beaches
where gulls glide on turquoise sea.
In her dream she promises him
from danger she won’t turn back or flee.
Last updated September 04, 2022