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,
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?