Thank you for these tiny particles of ocean salt, pearl-necklace viruses, winged protozoans: for the infinite, intricate shapes of submicroscopic living things. For algae spores and fungus spores, bonded by vital mutual genetic cooperation, spreading their inseparable lives from equator to pole. My hand, my arm, make sweeping circles. Dust climbs the ladder of light. For this infernal, endless chore, for these eternal seeds of rain: Thank you. For dust.
Marilyn Nelson - 1946-
Reverend Walter Peters, All Angels’ Church, November 18, 1849
Someone has died, who will never see the black joylight expand in her mother’s blue eyes. Who will never grasp a pinky, nor be danced up, down and around and lullabied all night. Someone who will never come to realize that her Dada’s palms aren’t dirty, they’re just brown. Who made HER mother, HIM father, then broke their hearts. Who is their shooting star, glimpsed only once. Someone who will never laugh, or play, or care … Praying that little box into the earth, Rev. Peters asks forgiveness for his faint faith. He thinks of the life of pain Someone was spared.
“A female still born child of Egbert Stairs (colored) & Catherine Cochran his wife (white) was buried in All Angels’ churchyard, November 18, 1849”—from the church record.