Roots and Stems (a poem)

Who can teach me the name of my father’s grandfather’s grandfather?

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Who can teach me the name of this tree?

Of this chirping insect?

Of this herb?

Of what to put in my tea?
I want to sit and wait for a train

Who can tell me when it will come?

Which bush should I remember to get to the yellow house on Willow St?

Who’s clothes on the line swaying in the breeze?
Who will say good morning?

Who will bless me with mangos?

Who will give me potatoes for my soup?
Who will make a fire?

Who will tell a story?

Who will dance with bare feet?
Whose rooster will crow in the morning?

What bird will sing in the old crooked tree?
Whose fritters will I smell in the morning?

Whose children are playing in the street?


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Freedom Jones writes short essays on nature, God, and motherhood.

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