Thursday, January 19, 2012

i am from a dream

i am from bernice and fanny 
stella and artie mae
dora and jennie and my second great grandmothers too
(how did we forget your names?)

i am from the dreams of jewish ghettos and the dirty south
distilled in a magical place
called california

i am from the souls of black folk
the pickle barrel at canter's deli
tie-dyed teen-aged fantasies
tins of watercolor
and a blue suitcase of poetry
my mother threw away.

i am from a dream
my grandmother had
once while she pushed a plow
(she used to pick cotton)

i am from a dream
my grandmother had
once while she pulled a needle
through the silk
of someone else’s party dress

i am from a dream
my grandmother had
once when she set her heart
on santa monica

saint monica
patron saint of abused women and children

i am from a dream
my grandmother had
once, a house on 21st and michigan streets
she used to plant collards in the yard
(now it’s interstate 10)

calafia was ruled
by a black amazon queen
and everything
including dreams
is made of gold

2 comments: