grace is a stretch you walk
sitting or kneeling after a stroll,
an exhale at a sanctuary of sounds
the string, the harp, the woodwind quartet,
a rhythm section plays for you
a cacophony huddled in a chest
arms or wings blazing a poetic field
of tone, the forlorn sound of a trumpet
a constant refrain of resist
all daughters in movement
the gods of grief
a stream visited by wringing hands
at the foot of thirst, a wild mare on wounded knee
tending to self
not knowing to accept or let go
sister in the pews,
fanning, prayers, holding space
a skirt tail between fingers
whatever frets the eye
This poem, featured in Aja Monet’s latest book, My Mother Was A Freedom Fighter, is a portrait of American artist Carrie Mae Weems.
Harry Belafonte has called Aja Monet “the true definition of an artist.” An internationally established poet of Cuban-Jamaican descent, Monet’s craft is an in-depth reflection of emotional wisdom, skill and activism. The youngest individual to win the legendary Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title, she is recognised for combining her spellbinding voice and powerful imagery on stage. Monet was a featured speaker at the Women’s March on Washington DC where she read the title poem of her latest book.
My Mother Was A Freedom Fighter by Aja Monet is available here from Haymarket Books.