I had everything and luck. Rings of smoke
Blown for me; sunlight safe inside the leaves
Of cottonwoods; pure, simple harmonies
Of church music, echoes of slave songs; scraps
Of candy wrappers – airborne. Everything.
Mother and father, brother, aunts, uncles;
Chores and schoolwork and playtime. Everything.
I was given gloves against winter cold.
I was made to wear gloves when I gardened.
I was made to garden; taught to hold forks
In my left hand when cutting, in my right
When bringing food to my mouth. Everything.
I had clothes I was told not to wear outside;
A face you could clean up almost handsome;
I had friends to fight with and secrets, spread
All over the neighborhood; the best teachers,
White and colored. I’m not making this up.
I knew that I had everything. Still do.
Lovely poem, peyton