Pictures of People Who Were Murdered

These are pictures
of people
who were murdered
because they are black.
Nine community members,
murdered in church
not by a shooter,
but by a racist terrorist
who strove to start a war.
Children played dead
in order to stay alive
on the anniversary
of a slave revolt
planned by the founder
of Emanuel African Methodist
Episcopal Church,
as the confederate flag
over the Charleston state house,
full-mast today.
These are the names
of the people we murdered:

Sharonda Coleman-Singleton

Reverend Clementa Pinckney

Cynthia Hurd

Tywanza Sanders

Myra Thompson

Ethel Lee Lance

Reverend Daniel L. Simmons

Reverend Depayne Middleton-Doctor

Susie Jackson 

For Shay’s prompt to the Real Toads: PICTURE THIS


What Drove You In, What Keeps You There

Remember that conversation
about a void, the stars,
another dream? Only last week,
far from the cavern
you’re stuck in now.
Consider constellations
as chill embraces you
like a long-dead lover’s arms.
Scratch them on the walls
sufficiently cryptically
for posterity to wonder
what caused that collision,
so much heat, such bright nights.

For Corey’s prompt to the Real Toads: THE CAVERN OF MY THOUGHTS


Love, Pass It On

With your peace signs
and flower patches,
reverence for living things,
stashed envelopes,
scraps retained against
a turn in luck,
dog-eared copy
of Our Bodies, Ourselves,
faith abiding, still surprised.
Love, pass it on.


We'll Need a Scythe After All This Rain

It’s cold for June,
but I’ve learned
the cycles of things,
like flush followed by quiet,
rain followed by tall grass.

We made it through May
without the ants coming in.
So I’m knocking on wood,
pulling on a fuzzy sweater,
waiting out the silence.

Sharing this little observation on The Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden.