Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Muse & Drudge [why these blues come from us]

why these blues come from us
threadbare material soils
the original colored
pregnant with heavenly spirit

stop running from the gift
slow down to catch up with it
knots mend the string quilt
of kente stripped when kin split

white covers of black material
dense fabric that obeys its own logic
shadows pieced together tears and all
unfurling sheets of bluish music

burning cloth in a public place
a crime against the state
raised the cost of free expression
smoke rose to offer a blessing

Credit


From Muse & Drudge. Copyright ©2006 by Harryette Mullene. Used with permission of Graywolf Press.

Author


Harryette Mullen

Harryette Mullen's work is driven by wordplay, allusion, and popular cliche, and is centered in a larger tradition of African American writing.

Date Published: 2006-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/muse-drudge-why-these-blues-come-us