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I Am Bound for de Kingdom

Issue 115, Winter 2021

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 
black-eyed Susans.

Marlanda Dekine

Marlanda Dekine’s forthcoming collection of poems, Thresh & Hold (Hub City Press, 2022), won the New Southern Voices Poetry Prize. Their work leaves spells and incantations for others to follow for themselves.