In Memory of Angela, Enslaved, Who Arrived Before the Mayflower

                        After Theories of Time and Space by Natasha Trethewey

                       

The home we knew is only memory. It repeats

without variation. We are forever young—

 

forever children playing in the yard: giggling, kicking stones,

chasing guineafowl, taking too long to answer mother’s call.

 

Mother is so much older now or in her grave, though

in the home inside you, she is always young and lovely—

 

dark skin glistening in the midday sun as she simmers

peanut stew and the spice-heavy aroma is carried

 

on the wind even across the ocean. If you take a deep breath,

Angela, you can taste the meal she prepared the last day you saw her.

 

Ellen June Wright

Ellen June Wright was born in England of West Indian parents and immigrated to the United States as a child. She taught high-school language arts in New Jersey for three decades before retiring. She has consulted on guides for three PBS poetry series. She was a finalist in the Gulf Stream 2020 summer poetry contest. Her work was selected as The Missouri Review’s Poem of the Week in June 2021, and she received five 2021 Pushcart Prize nominations.

Don’t Be Afraid

Leave behind

            fugitive clothing, rags  that stink of evasion,

            irreconcilable anguish,

            unacknowledged fissures,

            time sliced by nostalgia into frames.

Be close to the edge to know your wound your love,

your end to abide, but not in complaisance.

Do not forget to leave your handprint on a wall.

These are the conditions of possibility.

 

Lynn Staley

Lynn Staley is a Professor of English at Colgate University, where she teaches and writes about medieval and early modern literature and culture. However, she is also a poet and has been for many years. Her poems are representative of her awareness of place (a remnant of a Kentucky upbringing), of the intersections of the ordinary and extraordinary, and of her interest in the submerged narrative. Several years ago a poetry manuscript was short-listed for the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize given by Kent State University Press. She has published in the Seneca Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and Psaltery and Lyre.

Where we feast

I have rubber-band hands and

Where I come from everything is

Fingerfood. we break the shape

of rice on our plates and smoke

escapes from the side of our palms.

 

and strip down fishbones naked

when in rain, we churn aubergine

In winters we wed coco-

nuts to jaggery. Later

we stir heartburn – strikes as stiff

 

as cheese fried with tume-

ric. but to chilli we are

subjective. pork is eaten

but outside the home at road

side stalls with sizzling woks to

warm your pockets deep and leave

you smiling in a damp all-

ey, in our evening-old city

 

Sristi Sengupta

Sristi is currently studying toward her Bachelor’s qualification in English Literature and creative writing. She’s had a knack in writing fiction and poetry for years now, her debut novel, The Little Mountain (published with Olympia Publishers, UK) vouches on her interest in Tibetology and secrets of the oriental culture. Sristi works as a Marketing Author to earn a living and aspires to build a career in screenwriting as well. Her style in poetry is very personal and often has references to authors who helped her love for writing survive. Her poems are generally about the pace of life, her childhood, her experiences and emotions and her beloved home city, Kolkata.

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