“& then we saw the lightning, & that was the guns; & then we heard the thunder, & that was the big guns; & then we heard the rain falling, & that was the drops of blood falling; & when we came to get in the crops, it was the dead that we reaped.” – Harriet Tubman
Let the great whole of history roll out a red carpet,
A luscious long red one
Crimson as a pomegranate.
Let the great hole of history see black women
Warriors & healers, the triumphs & set backs
Oh recognize their long breadths
Of genius among us
Welcome their overdue historical nod with
Applause & admiration through the front door not
The back, break the wooden slats of military second class.
Let the grate hole backfill its lax memory
Beyond its 19th century stalks of corn, its clouds of
Cotton, its weapons of mass destruction
Its 21th century sand dunes & sand flies.
Wound the boll weevil until it stops eating the whole truth.
Let the great whole
Caress the heels of her marching feet, bless
The knots in her standing black calves
Mother sister daughter, scout, spy-runner
Servant spy, cook, musket-bearer
Code breaker, mail handler, messenger
Mechanic, troop entertainer, interrogator
X-ray technician, clerk-typist, flight nurse
Pilot, postmaster, band member
Intelligence analyst, color guard
Weathergirl, doctor, drill sergeant
Scud-buster, battle buddy
Prisoner of war
Unknown solider tomb-guard.
Salute our black women as they walk when they walk
The red carpet, the long pomegranate one stretched
From Beaufort to Fort Huachuca
Long Beach to Fort Lee
Pusan to Seoul
New Delhi to Ceylon
Long Binh to Saigon
Camp Buckner to Camp Pleso
Fort Des Moines to Kuwait City
Oklahoma to Mogadishu
From home to theater
Back back back home
Let the great whole of history tell her whole story whole.