Horse Eaters


born singing outside the graveyard

only a whisper a way from share cropping

two generations up from cotton

no way home no way forward

of the wandering tribe of the newly

freed owed nothing owning nothing

determined to survive they struggled

forward in the storm the children

of the whirlwind walking on top

of the water head to the sky eating

the rain traveling with the thunder

dirt under fingernails in nostrils

speaking to the dust the wind

the memory of ocean willing life

from rocky ground purchased an acre

at a time with labor sweat blood tears

the rancid taste of overcoming by bowing

down to own more land hoarding pennies

doing without to hold on to rocky soil

on the steepest part of a hill slim to

none better than nothing work harder

pray with your hands moving building

what they needed no quarter just forward

daring to dream of something on the other

side knowing there was another side

before here separated by water standing

in fire eyes on the horizon feet and soul

planted in the land leaning on it pulling

the next day from it one slender blade at a

time if the harvest is good they will

finally be able to buy horses

to till more land to plant more

dreams for greater tomorrows they

endure the arduous labor of the day

pregnant with the future’s expectations

About Ayodele Nzinga, MFA, PhD

I create; therefore I am.
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