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July 12, 2024
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I Am a Black Woman by Mari Evans

I am a black woman
the music of my song
some sweet arpeggio of tears
is written in a minor key
and I
can be heard
in the night

I saw my mate leap screaming to the sea
and I/with these hands/cupped the lifebreath
from my issue in the canebrake
I lost Nat’s swinging body in a rain of tears
and heard my son scream all the way from Anzio
for Peace he never knew…I
learned Da Nang and Pork Chop Hill
in anguish
Now my nostrils know the gas
and these trigger tire/d fingers
seek the softness in my warrior’s beard


am a black woman
tall as a cypress
beyond all definition still
defying place
and time
and circumstance
on me and be


See also:
Mari Evan’s biography
Her poem: Where Have You Gone

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