by Lauren McMillan
He’s been watching
He’s been watching with those big black eyes like pools
Like pools of black water and stardust
That fell from an indigo sky.
Mississippi nights, moss and ferns
Walking barefoot and torn alone for the first time since
Since Mama said, “run dat way”
Since Mama said “git down low, bury yo head in the mud”
Since Mama said “hush up don’t say nothin”.
Alone with one arm reaching out and one arm reaching back.
Mama said “boy I’ll cut that arm off with my axe, you run,
you get free, don’t wait for me”
Alone, each step a promise he made to get free.
Big black eyes like pools
Young brown stick legs
Crossin the devil’s fork
Indigo sky and stars falling fast like rain.
Prayers from his mama will
keep his gaze steady
And the owls will protect
His head as he moves
Forward with both arms
"Dreamer Boy," digital photomontage by J Michael Walker, 2014