Sitting across the table from you
I think back to when our friendship
came down from the mountains.
It was a cold day and the miners
had not left for work.
You break a cookie in half like bread
and this sharing is what we both now need.
That which breaks into crumbs are memories.
Your gray hair cut short and you ask if I notice.
How can I tell you that Bolivia will always be
beautiful and everything I notice is you
and yes is you. Our napkins folded in our hands.
Folded as if our meeting now is prayer.
Did I ever tell you that your eyes are a map
and I would lose myself if you ever turned away
Copyright © 2022 by E. Ethelbert Miller. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 14, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.
Thomas Jefferson said this, more or less,
After he read the musings of the clever African
Phillis Wheatley, a sensation of both the Colonies
And England, a black patriot, though a slave.
Whatever a black hand can build, he knew,
Could only be guided by a master’s vision,
Like this room of the mansion he probably
Wrote his opinion in—what black mind could
Dream in these proportions? And gather
The slope of these Virginia hills so lovingly
To his window? God could give her words,
But the subtle turn? Like giving a gull
A sack of gold.
Copyright © 2022 by Cornelius Eady. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 24, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.