Angelou Street

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words by Sylvia Jones


i am i be De La Soul

Letters to My Daughter pulsing;  a phantom limb borrowed

equipped me to love my mother. You personified debonair

You fashioned me a skeptic so I was prepared for shortcomings

and backfires, anticipating what looks like progress; a moonwalk,

an illusion of forward.


Lorde, Hooks, Dove, Giovanni, Raab, Boyle can be blamed too.

But without you  Maya, I am disarranged. Come back

and teach us how to listen better. After they krooned your death

Each avenue struck me as more narrow Each word a pomegranate,

more a salad than something newly derailed. Teach us

how combat must happen here in our town too. For now,

I’ll  imagine you alone

autodidactic as usual

cloaked in gold

beyond reproach

not too far away in some vernacular land.


Maya, what’s at the end of this encroaching blindness?

something quiet I hope something  I didn’t know

we needed to see.

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