This is from Rudy Lewis, poet and editor of Chickenbones, an on-line literary journal.
Take Me to the River
—A mixed lyric medley
based on songs by philosopher of soul Al Green
Fruit trees in the yard are budding
in mid-winter, as a cold rain falls.
Two million are homeless, wandering
among the crushing earthquake without
food, water, shade, a pillow and bed
on which to cry in the peace of dreams.
Dead limbs lie by a tree trunk, a squirrel
scampers across the yard and climbs
aloft. These tragic street scenes burn
my eyes to tears, so heart-shaking
as I look in brown eyes of horror & loss,
as mountains of the dead burn. Their souls
like fire-flies mended fly to a we-can-call-on
God? Squeeze me, I can’t embrace this newness.
Take me to the river. Let me walk in water.
We been loving Haiti’s people, forever,
in times happy and sad. The earth’s unsteady:
houses pancake: flesh, limbs, futures crushed.
Some drink from potholes in this dry season
while women cook patties of clay, oil, and salt
as breakfast and dinner. This diet gets down in
marrow of bones. Oh, baby! Pretty woman
walks impassable by-ways with blue burdens
of two centuries. Her eyes, her smile deceives.
Take me to the river. Let me walk and be washed
in a dunking of baptizing words. Let a new world
rise skyward for you and me. All our troubles
are not in dust. Forgive me, I dream tomorrow.
Rudolph Lewis, January 18, 2010