Carolina Blood Magic
by Amoja Sumler
Here blood means something. Blood is the honored artifact,
the keepsake staining skin into dimpled freckled smile,
life buried deep, betrayer of misborn secrets. Shit
on the tips of tongues. The Frenchman dabbled in dappled
skin. Some of his kin bore his name (some could bear the lash).
Seed was for sowing, for bent Brown backs. Spread salvation!
It's Jeffersonian kindness, task of good White men,
an owner's burden. The yearning teacher's ritual.
Each stroke: a lesson in comeuppance for uppity
farm hands -- too tender to pick. 'Whollop the Nigger!' blood
moistens soil. Determination makes Denmark Vesey's.
Here when they run, we course bucks with coonhounds,
our Klan leaves 'em lay -- spilling, ruined like Golgotha.
Amoja "The Mo-man" Sumler of Arkansas is a nationally recognized touring poet, a pioneer in arts and education and a noted activist currently residing in Washington, D.C.