Prayer, Peach

Gospel. I remember my grandmother
shucking corn. Warm,
sun-drenched days.
Her hands were sure,
smooth as a symphony.
She could have done it in her sleep.

I learn to husk fear.
White cop pulls me over.
I learn to husk fear.
Like corn.
Pull off the big outer leaves.
Get to the kernel of the thing.
Make sure to remove even the
thin silk that sticks around.
Painstaking. Persistent.
Keep going until all the threads are gone &
I am left with my own narrative. Clean. True as
sweet corn.

The big tree
at the end
of my grandmother’s driveway
was struck by lightning.
Years ago.
Split in two. It kept on
going, in spite of. I
keep on going. Learn.

Prayer is a weight in
my hands.
A wait.
Like a peach.
Round and around
a pit of empty
chairs, closed
doors, tall
shadows, telling, so long,
so long,
I think, they can’t belong to me &
yet, here they are,
colonial darkness
shackling my every step.
A wait, yearned
sweetness, like the first
bite of a perfectly ripe
peach. Something special
stone fruit gives. A filling
taste I sink my teeth into,
juice running down my chin.
The gift of the sun
drenched peach lifts me,
makes me
feel. Home. Prayer.