By Katelyn Rivas

Inside the trees
our bones
are being frozen
until next spring.

Then like lilacs
our bouncing daughters
will rise from the tall grass.
And our sons will not look like loaded guns.
They will be everlasting like the Nile.

Even now the crows are circling.
Every window in the city is looking for us.
The pavement offers her blackness
as a peace sacrifice, a rebirth from the pain
of stolen blood.

Somewhere the houses are rebuilding themselves.
Sanding away the lead-coated paint from their siding.
Sweeping the front steps off,
placing a pot of baked beans on a medium-heated burner.
Stirring them every once in a while.
So that when we breathe again
it smells like soul. ■



Katelyn Rivas is a warrior poet, community organizer, teaching artist and freedom dreamer living in Detroit, Michigan. She is the founder and director of The Free Black Women’s Library-Detroit.Her poetry has appeared in Tayo Literary, The Mudroom Blog, The Offbeat, The LightKeeper, Primary School Blog, and Fight Evil with Poetry. 

Cover image courtesy Katelyn Rivas.

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