for Jerry Ward
I am the only one here.
I stand in my one place
and I can see a good piece
down the road. I am yonder,
further than the chunk of your stone.
Right now, directly,
I am persimmon falling free
and the prisoner opening up
Don’t come through my door and
want to run my house. I am
the angel who sweep air in and out my own
dancing body. I got good eyes. I can see.
A good piece down the road. Clear to
God murmuring in me. My head is the burning
bush. What I hold in my hand is the promised
land. I set my people free in me.
And we walk without wandering like people named
after mere plants,
because we are tree
and high-stepping roots
in this promised place.
Where I go is where I am now.
Don’t mess with me: you hurt yourself.
In the middle of my stride now. I am walking
yes indeed I am walking through my own house.
I am walking yes indeed on my own piece of road.
Toting my own load
and yours and mine.
I tell you
I feel fine and clear this morning even
when it’s night and a full moon with my thumbprint
Everything is clamorous and quiet.
I am the only One here.
And we don’t break. No indeed.
Come hell and high water.
We don’t break
Angela Jackson, "Angel" from And All These Roads Be Luminous. Copyright © 1998 by Angela Jackson. Reprinted by permission of TriQuarterly Books.
Source: And All These Roads Be Luminous
(TriQuarterly Books, 1998)