the crosses, gowns, and graveyards
bones and birch-trees
noses, shackles, ropes
and we are left as
ash to fertilize the flowerbeds
ash to choke on
ash to spice the stews
ash to paint the clapboard huts
ash to pave the dirt road leading out of town
ash to pray for
ash as hope and penance
ash for breakfast lunch and tea
ash from bodies and from books
we are forever ash.
Linked to Anmol’s prompt on Black poetry month at dVerse. This is inspired (and short response) to Jamaal May’s long poem, A Brief History of Hostility.
February 12, 2020