EXODUS

I was born into cotton,

Momma pushed me out while pickin,

Ants ran across my dark skin,

Sister pulled them off like candy,

laid me in the furrow.

I starred into the first of many droughts.

I cried out but there was no air.

 

All the pickers moved on down the rows,

leaving me to the dark.

Night passed,

moonlight stole across the field,

a cold mist covered me.

 

The trees rose,

picked up their baskets,

walked into shadows.

 

I saw Momma,

she crawled through the cotton.

Sister whispered, “Its risky Momma.”

“Hush-won’t leave my baby here with no compass.”

Momma pulled a mess of rags from her body,

wrapped me up in layers,

made a pile of cotton,

fashioned it into a tombstone,

wrote in the blood of her body,

the same I took from her,

one word,

Moses.

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