Friday, 7 October 2011

Feel it

It was when I read poetry
that I found the Aunties and other Mama’s who knew me

it was as if they laid their hands upon me.
It was their in their voices, there in the resonance of words

Their deep sigh for me between the lines
to guide my steps

Space for me to write me
I imagine I had not lived an authentic moment
till I felt the word of Maya* or
mm-hm-ed the vex of Sapphire*

Stuck between the cracks of Englands creases
If you truly pressed them out you'd be sick for two bicentenaries
I'm not ready for that kind of sick alone

No, I need to find succor
in the symphonic stutters of Sister Sonia* 
and the cradle of Jean*
A Caribbean swing low - what comes down
Must come up again cos that is how we are designed

And these phrases
these sweet stanzas that hold my small hands
are woven between the long nights
the abuse and the made-it-through-another-day blues
portioned to go round everybody
cos a black woman doesn't know how to do anything but love
then reproach herself when blue became a long night
and red was the colour tears
and her tongue taste like the thorns of white roses

Poetry curls  petal curves and stick on a page
and warn ears and eyes against stinging winds
Poems wail and sting for you
So you don't have to
Feel it?  

Written by Zena Edwards© 

*Maya Angelou, Sapphire, Jean BInta Breeze, Sonia Sanchez

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