taproots

by Hazel Crawley

I

God of my fathers,
Please accept these lips
You flattened on my face
With your long kiss;
These lips that lose their way
Around your name…
Accept these eyes
Which cannot pierce the veil
Bonded like plywood
For three-hundred years.

I claim you kin
By virtue of the fact
That the Sun’s love
Was burned into my genes
Not to curse Ham,
But to caress a soul
Which can create
Black, tan, beige joy
And fling it in the face
Of Blue-eyed Death

II

I claim you kin
By virtue of the fact
That I can translate Hell
Into a Spiritual;
Can ‘make a joyful noise’
Before the tree of death;
Before the polls Scylla
And Charybdis guard
With charred perversions
Of their Son-of-God.

I claim you kin
By virtue of the fact
That I shall walk again
Through the White Sea,
A child from your
Black Phallus on each hand,
Another…as a smile
Within my eyes,
Into the fecund womb
Of man’s birth-rights.
There is no death
Can alter me from this.

III

Then…only then,
When all our sons are men
And not the petty
Function of their skins,
I want to lie
Ten-thousand miles removed
And hear my brother
Oozing through the brush
At break of day,
Plucking our lunch,
Which stands upon four legs,
From throbbing life.

 

Image: streetartnews.net
Image: streetartnews.net

Poet and playwright Hazel Crawley was a Newark native. “Taproots” appeared in her collection Erratica in 1975.

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