dear Nina:
By Monica Hand

she tells me that the slave cabins
are still there…and the graves of the slaves
are there, unmarked….the graves of my family
– Lucille Clifton

When Lucille died, it was as if I heard God’s voice
– I suddenly knew what I was missing

Not like the woman across from me on the subway
– missing her front teeth

Or the homeless man with his scary voice
– missing the threat of a loaded gun

Lucille knew where she come from she comes
from Dahomey women, women with one breast

The women I am from are wild; beautiful
This is what I know

When Lucille died, I tell my grand daughter
We are like Lucille trouble in the waters can’t kill us

5.10 dear Nina by Monica Hand


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