Saturday, December 25, 2010


All these remarkable problemas
rout the soul, some say,
as snow falls, ice forms, spring
is memory and prospect,
my long arms reaching for yours.
Alma, I will call you, a name
nobody does not have. Alma, and
unlike all the ways I once said
the name, no one is your equal.
There are needs the human heart
believes, and those it yearns for
with every breath intent upon
the going as well as the coming,
what is new as well as unknown,
all the as wells, the pero bastas
and rhetoric like some demagogue
holding forth on the Holy Bible
from the rooftop of his clunker,
yes, I have Flannery O’Connor’s
Wise Blood  where it’s resided in
what lines the cavity of my skull
these lo! forty-five years have held,
all her words one year I read aloud,
each one, to Betty Ludington, wife
who turned up her freckled face
in a red-haired Arabian smile,
I thinking, Just like a bad girl
to go all the way and suffer
the rest of her life in consequence
of bearing her Fort Riley daughter
whose origin, no fault of her own,
marked her as one of the blessed,
the rootless . . . like you? Never,
no one is or was or will ever be
like you. The peacock lady from
Milledgeville, Georgia, born again
when eyes cherish her words
by reading each of them aloud,
she must raise up her poor lupus
ravaged body and walk down
briskly to the country church
where black folks know her soul has
more to do than lie around dead.

(25 December 2010)

copyright 2010 by Floyce Alexander

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