William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Black Thunder

Halfway through, I am haunted by Arna Bontemps’ Black Thunder. Knee-deep in mud, I am shaken by the roar, the clouds, the lightning, the rising streams. The shadows are alive. The horses scare me. Everything is an omen. I want to be free — as free as a bird, as free as Thomas Jefferson — free from the lash, free from the trunk of a tree. I pick your crops. I nurse your children. I polish your silver. I bleed, and bleed, and bleed. My hands, my back, my face. Look at me.

November 24, 2020


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Categories: New Poems & Pieces

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