When the Saints Go Marching They Bring Their Sisters
W.J. Lofton

 

 

How many scars can fall onto the backdrop

 

Of a black girl’s skin

 

Making her tough,

 

Walking with all that Big Bang in her chest

 

Expectations on zero gravity

 

After being let down

 

Again and again

 

I know more women who remind me of Tupac

 

Rather than the men sharing the same skin

 

And nose ring as him

 

 

 

My sister is a

 

Five

 

Foot

 

Four

 

Compendium on revolution

 

An alleyway for the homeless

 

A summer of Sunday mornings

 

For souls in search of a song

 

She is Lauryn after The Fugees

 

Post-Beyoncé

 

 

 

When learning to black girl magic her

 

Lemons

 

Into lemonade

 

A Viola Davis type of sun ray

 

No fence has enough wood or wire to become her prison

 

My sister

 

Has dissolved sorrow

 

Birthed Kool-Aid smile in its wake

 

Shaken the earth with her prayers

 

Her spine be miracle

 

 

 

All those tears be wonder

 

How many stars dim to the light of her eye

 

Sky cracks its lips to laugh

 

Sun bows

 

Moonlight buckles its grace

 

When black girl swallows and owns the scars

 

That she never asked for

 

 

 

Black girl

 

Pops gum

 

Twists hair

 

Got degree

 

For her I would turn an army of goons into ghosts

 

Deadbeats into dust

 

Because she has loved her brother into panther, through pain

 

 

~~~~~

W.J. Lofton is the author of These Flowers Were Held by Broken Vases and the content creator for thepoetschair.com. Lofton studies political science at Troy University and currently is working in the Middle East. He hopes to create an open space conducive to dialogue addressing social injustice, education, sexual identity, and social constructs.