A Juneteenth Poem by Janel Cloyd
I am a survivor
of mothers who prayed so hard
on their hands and knees that
I was born with black knees and calloused hands.
I am the smooth brown wood
of their sandpaper rubbing life.
I am the caw in the throats
of their black crows rising.
I am the one that remembers the women
that line my ovaries.
I feed them tupelo honey and rum.
In return they eat my fibroids,
whisper to me that I am beautiful.
I love the memories
of who we were.
I Love the reality of who we are right now.
We are African and Incredible.
I love the ancestral women who lay over puddles
so my feet don’t get wet.
I love the old ancient ones who call out
my full name every morning
with honey-throated love
dripping from thick Black women lips,
heavy with our native languages
to wake me inviting me each day to begin again.