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In Issue 121, contributors explore the possibilities of the South’s bodies—physical, political, and spiritual—and find joy and purpose across a range of media.

Photograph by RaMell Ross

A Good Job

For Kwame’s Mother

I know we are happy

To hold them in our arms


Them squizzle


To grow

I’m not sure

What makes us happier


Them take their first step or


That first tooth come in 


We certainly think 

That first word should be



And what joy to 


Them walk

Down the aisle

For graduation or marriage 

And how fortunate are we

To see the world celebrate

The Talent


We burst with pride

At the Best Sellers

And the Prizes

But mostly I think we


The warmth

Of the arms of our sons

Laying us to rest 


We have done

A Good Job

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Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni, the author of more than twenty books of poetry and children’s stories, has won numerous awards, including multiple NAACP Image Awards, the Langston Hughes Award for Distinguished Contributions to Arts and Letters, and the Rosa L. Parks Women of Courage Award.