Today's poem is by Glenis Redmond

        They asked me who I belong to.... I say I belong to South Carolina.
        They had no business askin me. I was trying to belong to myself

                        —John Andrew Jackson, enslaved

When you gotta go. You leave. Take fear and every gift God gave you.
Shove it in half the space of a man. Tuck yourself whole self
amongst those same white blooms that you picked
underneath South Carolina sun. Ride the grain of this dark bloom,
in hopes to come out on the other side a larger man,
walking with freedom, but for now, breathe cotton dust,
eat mostly the same. Swamp water would beat back
your six-week thirst in this box that held you headed for Boston.
Drill holes with the gimlet that you are packin. Peep the stars.
Dream about a place where you don't have to worry
whether bale is noun that buries you soft in a white cushy grave
or verb that you ride to become the master of your own world.

Copyright © 2016 Glenis Redmond All rights reserved
from What My Hand Say
Press 53
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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