A Thousand More

            Free your mind and your ass will follow  --Harriet Tubman, circa 1854

Maryland’s bare back is a canvas for propaganda: flanked in showy goldenrod, studded with French mulberries; Chesapeake sweetwater, satin for soil. Funk from the field’s choke and wild petunias collected in jars make the quarters feel lived in even when no one’s been there for hours. Raccoons whistle through switchgrass tapping tiny holes in the dark. All the muscle from the day’s work stretches into song and string, one wide open drum with hands muting its mouth. Voices kindle a half mile from the big house, hidden from the light of the moon. Just eyes, and teeth curved into grins, then only the night on their skin.

*This poem previously appeared in Vinyl Poetry 11, October 2014.