Early ©

Synthia Saint James, “Butterflies Dream”

Early
By Kamaria Muntu

Early a woman rises
To undo her rollers or scarf
To pin her hair up or braid it down
To comb through cotton and kinks
To shake out her locs

Early a woman rises
To cabinets of smells she will make
To coffee or sweets
juice or oats of more sensible fare
To the casual assumption of food
if she is lucky in her lot

Early a woman rises
To shuffle and pad
and rake and hoe
Until her house is warmed
by the certainty of regeneration
of light piercing cloud or wind
or still air unprepared
for the swishes of dish suds and longing

Early she rises
To hymns of flesh and muscled ideas
to ignorance and civil wars
to meat racks of fanatics
To poker tables of world players
Devouring her limbs and her branches
The tiny digits of her children…

Early a woman rises
to signature the squares
where she’s cried out for justice
for the rights of sons and men
while waiting for herself

She rises

to fashion a coat for her daughter
to collect the funeral psalms of the righteous
and at nightfall
to tremble beneath trunks of tight flesh
and soft eyelids
Early this woman
any woman
rises
a call to prayers
scarcely arming her against assassins

©Kamaria Muntu
Republished with permission. Other poems can be found in her latest work “This Peace of Place: The Political Poetry of Kamaria Muntu 1990-2012


			

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