Her Hand

Her hand extends around the stained glass, touches through

the willow bark

makes move the breath of buds as they force

life into the unknowable air.

My mother says the Klan was necessary

in a lawless time

and I breathe in the moldy spring

of her life

a Southern story that no one will ever

quite remember or believe. 

Elwin Wilson died today, a Klansman and apologist,

sorry for everything as he remembered it.

John Lewis’s darkening head in the Whites Only bathroom

splitting into seeds of cantaloupe thrown at

dolls swinging in his yard. 

What is there to remember? 

Her hand extends to the cigarette

that is not there, the smoke she will breathe

for a few more years.