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This Poem Will Resist With Joy

By (March 1, 2017) No Comment

    Hearing her own sky-blue vowels resound
and return across the clearing, Vivienne
    is finally sated, not told—here in the pastoral photo

of her Papa’s wooded land—to shush,
    be quiet, or the neighbors—

    Now, her bell voice echoes
high-pitched snippets of childhood songs
    unhindered by suburb or road. My little
red bird.

    She lies on her back on the trampoline,
her milk breath coming in pants.

    I want to adequately describe her there:
her fuzzy cornrowed head resting,

relaxed against the black top of the trampoline
    her Papa scrubbed clean just that morning.

    All day the soapy bed dried in an uncommon January
marked with sunlight and excessive spring.

    I want you to see her butterscotch face ruddy
from leaps, breath reaching the clouds, eyes

Kwoya Fagin Maples is a writer from Charleston, S.C. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama and is a graduate Cave Canem Fellow and a Homeschool Lambda Literary Fellow. In addition to a chapbook publication by Finishing Line Press entitled Something of Yours (2010) her work is published in several journals and anthologies including The African-American Review, PLUCK, Cave Canem Anthology XIII, The Birmingham Poetry Review, Right Hand Pointing and Sow’s Ear Poetry Review. Her current manuscript, MEND, a finalist for the Robert Dana Anhinga Poetry Prize, tells the story of women who were the experimental subjects of Dr. James Marion Sims of Montgomery, Alabama. This work received a grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation.

Maples teaches Creative Writing at the Alabama School of Fine Arts and organizes a three-dimensional poetry exhibit which features poetry and visual art including original paintings, photography, installations and film.