My Mother in Virginia
Our hair was braided down our backs like flower petals -
We sang: 'OH SUSANNAH' by the river bank
to attract the silently suicidal puritans
with their woven tapestries -
(hosts to lavish diseases)
and an Indian boy puts an arrowhead to my heart,
clefts it; holds it's shiny cylinders up for my mother to
see. She who rubbed oil into my scars. Put Butter on
the burn two hundred years later when Sherman's fat
finger points another house to ruin.
When three hundred years later the monuments barring
the angelic faces of a generation of wifeless boys will be torn
down for the war they fought, and lost.
I sang: 'JOHNNY HAS GONE FOR A SOLIDER' while
my mother dug through the Virginia earth hoping to find
rusted nails from the civil war. My hair hung in braids while
she rode sidesaddle through the woods.
Infectious when in her search of what she calls, 'a better time.'