laundered winds

By | 1 February 2019

the theft of my brother and me
reduced my mother’s heart
to a faint pulse

her natural right
to nurture and raise taken
as we were ripped away

my brother got moved north
taught to break in horses
before they broke him

i was sent to the city
to clean white houses
with black hands

my connection to land
the dust
i wiped from surfaces

my pain
tucked in sheets swept off floors
and aired out on laundered winds

i knew there was a dream
for me
that wasn’t written by
white men inked
with my ancestors’ blood

my smile shone brighter
than the silver i polished
the day i left
at sixteen

i returned
where black swans nest
where two lakes kiss

no longer interrupted
black feet in sand
my mother’s land
my mother’s embrace

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