I Am Bound for de Kingdom
By Marlanda Dekine
Image by Andrew Shelley via Unsplash
—after Florence Price and Marian Anderson
My granddaddy Silas was born on the Nightingale plantation
in Plantersville, South Carolina, on riverbanks that loved
three generations of my kin, captured
in a green-tinted photograph, hanging in my daddy’s den.
Tonight, my eyes will take each old-world bird from the cropped space,
send them home with their songs and favorite foods.
Look out for me I’m a-coming too
with rice, okra, hard-boiled eggs, and Lord Calvert.
My daddy says if I get out of my car on Nightingale land,
the folks who own it might shoot. My daddy says,
“Never leave the driveway.”
Glory into my soul
I watch all of my ascendants. Their faces reflecting me
in that photograph. Their eyes are dead