Download African Violet: Poem for a Black Woman by James C. Kilgore PDF

By James C. Kilgore

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Extra info for African Violet: Poem for a Black Woman

Sample text

Page 46 Your Silence Is Not Clear A single gnarled sentence stretches across the summer bridge we built. I do not understand its predicate; Its subject is not clear. They do not matter though (I have no structural interest). I wish to know the meaning of the silence I hear. The summer's context is gone; The blank white page of winter is here, And as I scan the length of that summer span, I wish to know the meaning of the silence I hear. Page 47 Violated Autumn snatched summer By her thin green gown And dragged her Screaming To the soft white covers.

She has just returned from Tehran, And now, armed with an anti-life budget, She focuses her cameras on inflation, the socialites of Scarsdale, and the civil war of El Salvador. Around Atlanta hunters search for seventeen snatched from your fold, And strengthened by anonymity, A creature with the head of a human wipes his face with bloody paws And grins in his chameleon invisibility as he watches you weep. Appalled that that satanic force hates so deeply, You think you weep alone; But another knows your grief; She, too, has worn the mourner's robe; She, too, has heard the thundering stomp of Herod's band; She knows your grief; Page 68 You remember, I know, the story of her manger-born Child; You know the bloody tale of Herod's men: Killing infants as they tried to find the new child King.

I put down my bucket of plums and sit beside her; She speaks and the water smiles. I take one hand in mine, tell her that I want to take her away from that secluded place, to Chicago, Harlem, Cleveland, or St. Louis; But first I want to go to college. . I want to present the case of my people before the bar of human justice or the altar of divine love. Page 9 She listens patiently; Occasionally she squeezes my hand to urge me on; I tell her that the only threat to my hopes is war, That I am young and strong; But I have no desire to go to Asia: I want to wage my wars at home.

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