Elizabeth Stelling and Tyson West

 

 

‘Touched by the Hood’ by Elizabeth Stelling
Response

Inspiration by Tyson West

NEGRO SPRITUALS SUNG BY A GROUNDSKEEPER

I

Deep burry booming though his bass
Rattled the walls of the flimsy black Baptist church
At the cross roads
With the dreadnaught explosions of a second coming
Kay Ellen’s father would still have called him “Boy”
Segregating the errant plantains weeding wooley background vegetation
Persisting among the hybrid tea roses
Of Mr. Jefferson’s pale academic gardens
Neatly lassoed in brick serpentine walls.
We eavesdropped his spirituals
Going down for Moses and
Swinging low for sweet Jesus’ ears and his own under
That late March 1968 web of warblers
Sweeping the insects that had chanced the spring sky
We prattled pink and white noise hugs on the bench
You held me soft and lacy
But stiffly to the dark echoes of sin and salvation
Ricocheting over the red brick and glossy green magnolias.

II

Bewitched we carlosed these last forty years
With our soft goodbye
And the memory of my lips against your smooth firm sighs
Parting not in thrown china or curses and a three day drunk
I did give a damn and sensed as you did too
Your mother could not groom my father’s garden with such precision
As they could sorrow or sing.
We now find each other in the dance of rare earths
The call of the computer
Machines built to calculate the trajectory of artillery projectiles
To explode against the cosmic background radiation’s warm glow
Soft passions of our pairing
And smooth passions of our parting
We both can draw social security—a gift of misspent days at work
Jesus was more to you than an a capella
Song of an African voice a week
Before the execution of your king and his resurrection
Which even now must follow
My Lady’s first full blush after
The vernal equinox.

One Comment

  1. Michael Baca
    Posted December 10, 2012 at 9:28 am | #

    Love it! Great Job on the photo, and love the poem Elizabeth!

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