Sarah Browning: This Is the Poem

Cadre, my friend, Sarah Browning’s poetry will run in series at Vox Populi for some weeks. Drop by, read. She’s all the good.

Vox Populi

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I am on the Parkway with Fred, driving home

from Baltimore to DC. We’ve been to a packed

.

and riotous tribute to Ms. Lucille Clifton

at the public library. How we start talking

.

about history and my slave-owning forbears

and poetry I don’t remember, but that’s how it is

.

with Fred – we talk about these things.

I tell Fred I’ve been trying and failing

.

to find my way into the head

of my great grandmother or anyone else

.

who owned other people, trying to imagine.

Fred says, Well, maybe that’s not the poem.

.

Maybe this is the poem – you and I,

a Black man and a white woman,

.

crossing state lines below the Mason-Dixon Line.

The traffic stalls for late-night repairs

.

and we stop, between these two cities.

We are friends in a car.

.

And how could the…

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