by Sharan Strange

bullet Bio

for Toi Derricotte

It came once, the year I turned ten.
That year they told us how we
would become women, and I began
my monthly vigil.  But this was
the miracle, singular, unexpected.

The whites had finally stopped
resisting.  Unwanted at their school,
we went anyway--historic, our parents
intoned, eyes flashing caution
to our measured breaths.

That first martial autumn mellowed
into a winter of grudging acceptance
and private discontent, a season of hope
shaped by fists and threats.
Then angels molted, pelting all

of creation with their cast-off garb.
We went home early, drifting through
a landscape of sudden ghosts,
the yard churning in frothy waves,
as if by an invisible tide of protestors.

What I remember most is its rude
coldness, stinging and wet.  How we
mixed it with milk, sugar, vanilla,
into a poor child's ice cream that
melted before we could savor it.

"Snow" appears in ASH  


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The Redneck Review 2007