Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tanka Pair

From a seedling

on one branch
early slaveholders, 
on another 
an abolitionist . . .
the shades of my forebears 

beneath the ground
the remains of a tree—
till I phone her
she doesn't realize
it's Mother's Day

Skylark, winter 2016

I had intended to post this here in time for Mother's Day. I believe "beneath" was written in May 2015.

The abolitionist refers to a colorful, English-born great, great grandfather of mine who was acquainted with the well-known antislavery figure John Brown. Luckily, he didn't ride with the gang that fateful day to Harper's Ferry. Other ancestors of mine, from another line, settled in Virginia Colony from England around 1650. It appears that ancestors on that "branch," early on, were landholders and possibly surveyors. And, yes, apparently at least some of them had a few slaves.




Saturday, June 17, 2017

I gather

I gather
clumps of aloe vera
for my neighbor—
life spreads hither and yon
from my mother's garden

Earth: Our Common Ground (a Skylark Publishing anthology), 2017

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Tanka Sequence (Set)

Clothes

sunflowers
splashed all over
my dress—
bare-armed, I scattered
the seeds of childhood

for so long
she draped it around herself
the same thick cloak
that near the end
slipped off her shoulders

Skylark, 5:1, Summer 2017