Sunday Poem

At the Center

Today doves flew from my head
and my hair grew
the longing is gone from my body
and I'm filled with peace, perfect peace

No longer shall I speak of electrocuted poets
or the ones who inhaled gas until
they danced in the dizziness of death
But of brown women
who turn the soil with their hands
making vegetable gardens and tending fruit trees

Today I went into my storehouse
selected the choicest oil and annoint my body
wrapped myself in the rarest cloth
of a deep wine red
stood at my front gate
and words poured from my mouth in flaming chants

Today the craftsman has come
to make a design for me
of a woman sitting in deep repose
with doves flying from her head
He has made all the pieces and they fit
well together
I shall hang it at my window for all the world to see

by Afua Cooper
from Understatement: An Anthology of 12 Toronto Poets
Toronto: Seraphim Edition, 1996.