“You grew from your granddaddy’s dirt / and evergreen spaces . . .”
You grew from your granddaddy’s dirt
and evergreen spaces.
There are gorgeous collard-colored greens, ripe
yellows turning to golden reds, hanging
from brown and moss-smothered trunks, standing tall
all over the land he left.
A Black man, last name Jackson, quietly purchased
land from a white man and sold acres of unworkable plots
to your great-granddaddy.
Your granddaddy, Silas, filled the swamp
with dirt gathered from the woods he slept beneath
as a runaway child.
On the south side of his house is where he used to plant.
was a farmer’s almanac scrabbled with voices and visions.
This, too, is your inheritance.
His greens reached and sprawled
beyond his containers, spilling into all his children’s
His mother and the life in his eyes died
when he was ten years old. Your granddaddy was already
all different kinds of blue
………………………going on and on and on
talking to people he could not see.