Monday, January 15, 2024

Before he was Malcolm X
or our Black Prince—

I would lie down
on my back,
He wrote,
between two rows,
and I would gaze
up in the blue sky
at the clouds moving
and think
all kinds of things.


And in the photo
Gordon Parks
captures a Black boy
lying in a field
of grass,
a Junebug tied
to a string,
a Junebug
sitting atop
his brow like a jewel
in a princeling’s crown,
surrounded by
thistles, by scepters of grass.


And in the photo,
a portrait
by Rashod Taylor,
a Black boy lies
on the mown grass
in the backyard.
A soccer ball
lies beside him.
He’s like any
little boy.
Soon someone
will call him home,
make his supper,
wash his body,
tuck him in,
remind him
that he is loved
by something
unseen and
far away, and
by a kiss—
a breath
against his cheek—
loved here.

Monday, January 15, 2024