By Melissa A Chappell
Walk a while with me,
along this borrowed road
where courageous grows
the Queen Anne’s lace.
Let us speak of the
hurtling through the
in the roaring
light of day.
Sit a while with me,
beneath yonder poplar tree.
I cast my seed into
the dark furrows
of your yearnings deep.
Perhaps they will
into their loamy rest
at the diffuse dusking
in the lavender west,
readying for the waking,
the cracking of the husk.
Lay a while with me,
on a bed of evergreen boughs.
As I brush the hair from
from your brow,
the gracious breeze will
caress every sense of ours.
Together in the fire struck night,
we die, one to the other,
rising, blessedly more human,
having loved beneath the cedars,
having loved beneath the cedars.
One-Tenth of a Percent
The long awaited DNA results
radiated sundry on my computer screen.
At the bottom of my long and
kaleidescopic lineage, there it was,
as if someone had almost forgotten to link it
to my motley double helix:
“Sudanese, one tenth of a percent.”
One infinitesimal gene, which, excitedly
laying claim to an exotic slice of Africa,
suddenly became a mountain of pride.
Lordly, I passed through my days,
knowing that in my blood ran the ebulliant,
ancient tribal songs and dances of Sudan.
Yet I thought not of a fractured nation,
perishing for an independence
cut out of its mountains and plains,
and the tortured alchemy of
bloodlust, power, and dulled machetes.
The blood of Sudan courses through humanity,
its lament rising from the ancient gene,
the lament of those everywhere who,
facing intolerable danger, flee away,
away to stranger shores, or to the wilderness,
where manna from heaven is only an old story,
where seeds and leaves are the sole food that
the only God they know can offer them.
My one-tenth of a percent was lost in the infinite ocean,
yet finally swam across a sea of plasma to reach
nucleic shores, finding refuge in the improbable
gene pool of a girl so white the sun is blinded by her.
She does not understand the faint, foreign chants
that she sometimes hears in the offing.
Yet one-tenth of a microscopic percent,
real as the blood that wails for justice,
dreams of flowering hills of daffodils,
where the blood soaks silent into the waiting earth.
Melissa A. Chappell is a native of South Carolina, USA. She contentedly resides on land that has been in her family for over 130 years. She has a BA in the Theory of Music and a Master of Divinity degree. Besides writing, she plays several instruments, including the lute. Music and the land are her primary inspirations for her poetry. She has had two chapbooks published: Rivers and Relics (Desert Willow Press)