somewhere a little girl is reading aloud
in the middle of a dirt road. she smiles
at the sound of her own voice escaping
the spine of a book. she feeds on her hunger
to know herself. she has not yet been taught
to dim, she sits with the stars beneath her feet,
a constellation of things to come.
as if a swallowed moon, she glimmers.
her head wrap rolls out in a gutter, bare feet
scat the earth, the ghosts of women once girls
make bridge of the dust dancing behind her,
she decorates the ground in dimples
she stomps suffering out the spirit
hooves drumming the earth in circles
she holds gladness in her mouth
like a secret teased out of a giggle
joy like her sadness overflows
she is not the opinions of others
she is of visions and imagination
somewhere a little girl is reading aloud in the middle of a dirt road.
she smiles at the sound of her own voice escaping the spine of a book.
she is a room full
of listening, lending herself
to her own words
a deep remembering of what was, she survives all.
Aja Monet, "the ghosts of women once girls," from My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter. Copyright © 2017 by Aja Monet. Reprinted by permission of Haymarket Books.
Source: My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter (Haymarket Books, 2017)