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Light falls across a room,
a glass bird on a shelf
catches sunshine in early evening,
breakfast smells come up the same old stairs–
these form the seasons of a home.
A girl finds refuge in dependable light after a tough day
on the playground, or after getting off the bus
on the corner of Lake Street and 14th when the boy
with the red shirt teases her about her skinny legs.
Yet in my room kids breathe in quick- step,
stutter into my class arm and arm with anxiety.
Shall we mourn by the river?
Shall we join the Soul Patrol and hurry on down,
glide over houses and bodies of old men who used to work
at the docks, long days and slow mornings of arthritic rising?
Might we not march as a nation,
with this new Diaspora, following along the banks of the Mississippi
from the headwaters to Baton Rouge to the Gulf to Ponchatrain to Biloxi?
Let us do this American funeral up right
with trumpets and lines of live bodies, songs about
loved ones left behind– their mornings on hot porches
their evenings with cigarettes and wine.