A Poem: The Women Gather

The women gather
like painted brides/ a tapestry
of eyes/ hands/ knees/ hearts like open baskets
pieces of their peace/ fragments of their dreams
snatches of their lives/ with their mothers
mothers rhythms/ visions/ breathprints/ wrapped in their bosom

The women gather
dropping tongues in terra-cotta bowls
with their bibles and charms/ bluz, boogie, herbs, oils, and curls
seeing eyes and gospel pearls/ heady laughter/ lies and tears
rolling like Jordan/ prayers, rituals, and folktales
stuffed between their teeth/ a bloodline rich in mahogany

The women gather
mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, and sweethearts
grannies and aunt sister bell and hoochies with their hellhounds
and hollars/ their children and men/ lost lovers/ lifted
leftover/ forever and lasting with skeletons/ secrets/ gri-gri
and hush-hush folded in little bitty piecs

The women gather
knitting hands/ re-stitching their lives
reconnecting the circle
piecing the quilt to keep him warm
from generations for generations and generations to come.

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Image courtesy of Lyah LeFlore.

The poem above is from Shirley’s LeFlore’s debut book of poetry, Brassbones & Rainbows: The Collected Works of Shirley Bradley LeFlore, published in 2013 by 2Leaf Press.

Writer Jacqui Germain sat down with LeFlore for an interview about her life and work

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