Scoundrel Time

What I Will and Will Not Take From a Slaver Ancestor

I will have the name                            because it came

by way of blood                                   and stripe.

Cowhide-split skin                               and parchment script

the tearful separation                         of kin from ship.

Prized receipt of sale                          placed on a shelf

and the quartered body                      in a cabin

or under an attic roof

to be near at hand                               as driver or cook.


I will leave behind                                the self-righteous greed

birthed of the bend                             and sway of tobacco leaves

& curséd wheat sheaves.





Image By:,_C.J._-_Medan_-_Tobacco_fields_belonging_to_the_tobacco_plantation_Tanjung_Morawa_(Tandjoeng-Morawa)_near_Batangkuwis_in_Deli_-_circa_1903.jpg