Copyright © 2022 by Diamond Forde. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 2, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.
This poem is about reclamation: reclaiming distinctly Southern identities sacrificed during the Great Migration, reclaiming Black women’s stories from the control of their abusers, and reclaiming or reimagining the relationship between memory and the narrative of the Self. By relegating my grandmother Alice’s abuser to a footnote, I’m underscoring the small influence he had over the trajectory of my family’s survival and joy. The cycle ends with me.”