Trail of tears (dub) (a poem)

Having finished the alphabet poems, I was going to take a break—but then a line popped into my head this afternoon while I was at the book store. (The ‘refrain’ comes from the title of a Herbie Hancock album I saw at that same book store.)

Draw tears—
but don’t use shading
a visible trail
might lead to something
we can’t turn back from

This is the drum—tumb…tumb…tumb…

Violent motions
quickly subside
once the tension is released
the trail of tears
follows a fractured beat

This is the drum—tumb…tumb…tumb…

Sometimes the beat
gets turned around
then it’s hard
to stay true to the trail
or the map it’s drawn on

This is the drum—tumb…tumb…tumb…

Feel the space
inflate every angle
until the trails slow
and levitate
until the only thing you can hear

is the drum—tumb…tumb…tumb…

(28 November 2016)

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