The Lord’s Corner

I would drop to my knees for the littlest things 
mind filled with a light returning
from aluminum-foil crosses hanging on a porch 

I was made to believe so hard 
that I was going to die 
My family said I wore bells on my ankles
                                        I learned an ancient dance 

Then the light like the deer 
leaped off     into time 

& once   because my cousins called my body a soft thing
because so desperately they said they wanted to kill 
the woman I hid inside me 
dared as they often did with their hands 
to let my eyes wonder 
where the thickest shine sat 

we heard the last child had their mind stolen 
the circles of their iris turned to coal
when they looked directly at the Lord’s house 

I’m trying to find where I feel most at home
I believe it’s inside me

Copyright © 2024 by Tyree Daye. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 10, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.