Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Death Necklace

The wood-rotted shed open
halfway. You can smell
peach preserves hovering
atop a dead rat. Inside, the
green rake lies perpendicular

witness to the righteous slaughter.
Margaret with Priscilla
wound round her left side
the butcher knife in her right,
the look of a stunned owl.

Margaret Medea
like Abraham at Mt. Moriah
serves a God who barters
for one's desires
who craves
prostrating bodies,
burning flesh,
the cleanly carved
neck of an almost
slave girl.

Who among us
has the courage
Or the steady hand?

A poem about the place where Margaret Garner, a woman who freed her child from slavery through death.  This is the woman Toni Morrison featured in Beloved as Sethe. 

I'm slacking on the Tuesday poem posts so I went to this  poem as a repost


  1. Extremely pungent. Although the broader context isn't revealed humidity hangs in the air. A sense of oppressive twilight seems to offer a reprieve that the sins committed at the site will disappear into darkness if the scene if no one bares witness.

    Translation: I like it. It gives me a sense of place and the language provides historical roots.

  2. Margaret Garner is the woman that inspired Toni Morrison's Beloved. In my Broken Hearts workshop (my 2 peers/students) they said the action is not clear. You wrote "the sins committed" so at least it's moving forward as a piece.

    Thank you.

  3. that was mmmm as in thought-provoking lol


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