African Cycle (3) continued from previous page.
There is a slow parade
Through the village.
The jute-covered heads
Are carried at the front.
There are slow drums.
There is something sad.
No one wants it repeated.
I forget when it happens
Or the start of a season.
An oedipal cleverness to her acts.
A complication in that he is not the father.
A mother roasts cherries in an ancient fire.
A father waits in a boat. They bomb Japan.
He brought a blue & yellow flower. She brought a vase.
A thin bird in the window, the blood, the hard light.
The cats thrown out. Fleas. Allergies.
Bit, the children leave. Drunk on their blood.
A roof savaged. The winds. A bitter winter.
Cleared the house. Moistened the beans.
A blind winter. Left without grace.
That my fathers would bless me on a sacred ground.
And my son and my daughter.
That there would be a circle and we would be within.
And the snake's head would be charmed.
And the tail reborn.
And the mother not cast out but into flower.
And I would be that son and that father.
That I too would not be betrayed or go broken-lipped at
There would be a gate in each of his fences.
There would be cows in and out of season.
And the bull would both stud and provide.
In the house the monster on the mantle would join the fire.
The fire would join the body on the hearth.
I would be that body dancing.
My children near the loom, harmonicas at their lips.
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