Memory Keeper

Memory Keeper

Memory Keeper

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, 

their tongues,

heavy with our native languages

to wake me inviting me each day to begin again.

Emancipation Day

Emancipation Day

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