Thursday Poem


He said: Here is my soul.
I did not want his soul
but I am a southerner
and very polite.
I took it lightly
as it was offered. But did not
chain it down.
I loved it and tended
it. I would hand it back
as good as new.

He said: How dare you want
my soul! Give it back!
How greedy you are!
It is a trait
I had not noticed

I said: But your soul
never left you. It was only
a heavy thought from
your childhood
passed to me for safekeeping.

But he never believed me.
Until the end
he called me possessive
and held his soul
so tightly
it shrank
to fit his hand.

Alice Walker
from Her Blue Body Everything We Know
Harvest Books