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Audio and Video

Salmon Poetry

Soon I will be done

Kevin Simmonds

Negro spiritual

I go down where it’s still sung
by the mother of the block
lifting her tremulous contralto
from the screened porch that leans
such that the latch won’t lock

I’ve grown mean without its milk
that saved masters from their slaves
salve rubbed into the pink tears
where rot should’ve set in
the revolt

Ask some black kid if they know it 
& they might say the title
rings a bell but that doesn’t matter
it runs mad in the ruby fractals
of their capillaries & in their spit

Never mind the tempo, child
the stride began with Soon
from your upbeat
of breath & the ancestors
already galloping


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Salmon Poetry / The Salmon Bookshop
& Literary Centre,
Main Street,
Ennistymon,
County Clare,
V95 XD35,
Ireland

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