"Dreamer Boy"

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 walking

Alone stumbling

Alone running.

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

Reaching toward

Freedom.

Dreamer Boy.jpg

"Dreamer Boy," digital photomontage by J Michael Walker, 2014