Waiting on the Reading

By Samiya Bashir Samiya Bashir
Many of my race have lived long without the touch of
these fine things which separate us from beasts. Things
I call my own now. Having served thirty-six years as needleman

for a family far more ape than we will ever be, I rode
the moonlight train to find my free. Up here it is colder than I like,
but the gentlemen admire my frock coats above all. I taught my son this trade

and hope this picture I made will help retrieve him. Come summer I leave
this coast for Philadelphia where I hear we of color can breathe yet more free.
Tonight I stitch. The breeze off the bay smells of aria. It is almost the season for cloaks.

Samiya Bashir, “Waiting on the Reading” from Gospel. Copyright © 2009 by Samiya Bashir. Reprinted by permission of RedBone Press.

Source: Gospel (RedBone Press, 2009)

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Poet Samiya Bashir

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Race & Ethnicity

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Samiya  Bashir

Biography

Samiya Bashir is the author of Gospel (2009) and Where the Apple Falls (2005), which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in Poetry. She is also the author of the chapbooks Wearing Shorts on the First Day of Spring (1999), American Visa (2001), and Teasing Crow (2006). Her poetry, stories, articles and editorial work have been featured in numerous publications most recently including Poetry, World Literature Today, . . .

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SUBJECT Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Race & Ethnicity

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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