By Roger Reeves
Fuss, fight, and cutting the huckley-buck—Dear Malindy,
Underground, must I always return to the country of the dead,
To the coons catting about in the trees, the North Carolina pines
Chattering about sweetening bodies in their green whirring?
Do these letters predict my death—some sound of a twig
Breaking then a constant drowning—a butter bean drying
Beneath my nails? Casket, rascal, and corn bread cooling board.
Dear Malindy, when the muskrats fight in the swamp I knows
It’s you causing my skull to rattle. You predicted my death
With my own baby teeth and a rancid moon beneath our legs.
No girl, my arm still here. The antlers on the mantle yet quiet.
All the ocean’s water without me and yet in me. Never mind,
Malindy. They already shot the black boy on the road for dying
Without their permission. Yes, gal, I put on my nice suit. And wait.
"'Black Laws' is in conversation with so many things at once: Paul Laurence Dunbar and his dialect poems, the folk music group the Carolina Chocolate Drops, the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Jonathan Ferrell, lynching, John Berryman, elegy, and, most of all, the easily eradicable nature of black folks' lives in America," Reeves told Poets.org in 2013. "Every day I wonder if I'm next -- the next Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, or Jonathan Ferrell."
My Thursday involved a lot of running around, a big thunderstorm, and tearing my bedroom apart looking for a shirt I love that I can't find anywhere. Daniel and I had dermatologist appointments in the morning, then we went to Kohl's to get him some clothes, to Paul's office to pick him up so we could all go to lunch at Minerva, then to CVS on the way home, at which point I was getting a weather headache and knew the sky was about to open.
Indeed, we got buckets of rain that trapped Adam and his girlfriend on the Beltway coming home from College Park and made Paul late at the food store where he was getting ingredients to make a Waterloo bicentennial dinner (Beef Wellington, of course, and Brussels sprouts, and Napoleons). The bunnies came out when the rain stopped, we had dinner, then we watched Guardians of the Galaxy because we were in the mood. A bit more Seattle Chihuly: