Finally, I see you.

Weathered black, white

shades of brown.

I weep from longing.


You are eighteen

with furrowed brow

wearing your Sunday best.


It’s Accomack County graduation

day 1935. Did you know your arms, 

legs crossed, could not shield you 

from past, present, future tense?


Did you know your marriage

ends in sweating, coughing,

fever, shaking? 


Did you know hospitals are for whites only. 

Your uncle, husband, baby boy gone, then you. 

Your orphan sons left motherless, aching. 


Did you know one day 

I’d see you and lament 

countless ancestors sacrificed?


Did you know today 

I’d seek repair 

for countless ancestors sacrificed?

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