“Shadow of the Mississippi,” by Da’Sund Fiir Heller
May 2, 2019
Shadow of the Mississippi
I fear the loss of such… reading
For May falls into the hands of the river
Against pressures of stream… then keeps flowing into thighs of the Mississippi… still
Pushed and moved thru currents… ongoing
A reading of true intention, to reach bank
A slope of increase where no one’s ashamed
Or afraid. To shout a name, nor game.
In other words the recessed basics of
Emmett! Johnson! Hinton!?
Til Emmett, the river had no hands, only a face
Stolen from Natives who basked in America’s
Beforeness, for it was once great… huh
Great enough to rebuild banks, flowin’ up
Great enough to rebuild streams, that buffer
On us, let that dawn in our minds
Weigh honest, til Johnson it had only
Been the second time, human innocence wrapped In lie, put away for last supper
I’m honored, to speak for the exonerated
For the once incarcerated. The ones blamed
On false charges, prior to civil marches.
How modest, victims of society’s
The real targets!
I fear the loss of such reading
Youth Poet Laureate cohort member Da’Sund Fiir Heller read this poem to open our sold-out Hinge Series event with Anthony Ray Hinton on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at Seattle First Baptist Church.