Ise a maker of pots,
bricks and poetry,
but I don’t know what to make of dis,
’cause you never dead to me.
Dis ground don’t know you.
Dis grave can’t hold you like I do.
Stone and cross marks yo spot,
but dey can’t speak.
Can’t say your name
wid de heat of my lips.
Dese thangs heah:
teacup dat yo lips touched,
pots my hand molded, just be tokens
of de love we done built.
Death be liar and a thief,
but can’t steal what I be carryin for you.
Ise be yo marker, cause Ise be de one
you mark yo time wid.
Earth be a circle and my minds always
comin back round to you.
Ise yo witness and yo amen.
I be de deepest pot holding you.
Dis good-bye ain’t gone
cause as long as I’m takin in air—
got plenty of breath.
Reprinted from Praise Songs for Dave the Potter: Art and Poetry for David Drake, edited by P. Gabrielle Foreman. Copyright © 2023 Glenis Redmond. Reprinted with permission of University of Georgia Press.