A Root

What happened when he grabbed me at the root?
I stopped. It all stopped: spirals fought to win
My spiral life (from an unspiraled root—

From thick cigar stubbed in my young tongue’s root—
(Heart beating uncle lifetimes through my skin)).
What happened, when he grabbed me at the root

Where women come to starve, our ready root?
My broken body (one more), broken in?
My spiral life from an unspiraled root-

Fed pomegranate? (in the basement: root-
Husked hell of seed as if seed could have been
What happened.) When he grabbed me at the root,

Did ancestors throw chains down through our root
To rot and winnow, with their pain and sin,
My spiral life? From an unspiraled root?

Oh sisters, keen our sisters! Till the root
Of loving! burns! (but not! from! foreign kin!)
WHAT happened (when) (he) (grabbed) me at the root?
Our spiral life! From an unspiraled root!

More Poems by Annie Finch