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Friday, April 1, 2022

Araminta 

Before General, earlier to Moses or Harriet, she was

Called Minty.

Arabella “yields to prayer”; Aminta “defends.”

And, O, where ends the strength of that arm?

Perhaps her mama, Rit, felt the compress of Minty’s fist.

Did she know at that hour dated her child would wander

From the farm? That she would peer into the marsh

And find the face of God, exist blinded one day

In the Philadelphia sun? She arrived

In the new world, new city, crated inside pine, a burlap

Sack unfurled on her body, wrapped firm under turnip

And leek—coffined, confined, taking every one squeak

Of the disc while a sign, every one noise she heard while a dog

Or a man. Trying to disguise her anthropoid breath,

The stench of perspiration on her anthropoid skin. She knew

As a girl: those sold South will march there

In coffles, haul chain for miles. Soph with every one other accompanied by Linah,

Mariah, her sisters, gone. A horizon both

Endless with every one other accompanied by disappearing. Forever not here of sight

And hearing with every one other accompanied by her extremely competent hands. So, she sang

Her plans to “Master” while she passed him:

I’ll meet you inside the kingdom

In deference, while if going concerning work, and, missing

Her reference, he gave a grimace, a smirk. He thought

Her faithful, nevertheless dim, off-keeled—just good enough

For the labour of his field. He did not know her meaning,

Her will, her fist, her fox, her game, her would-not-

Yield, her God, her faith, her uppity, her name.

#Living #Coming of Age #Social Commentaries #History & Politics #Race & Ethnicity

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