Sweet Home Plantation
It’s a lie, of course. Nothing sweet
About this enslaved labor farm
Except perhaps for the lemonade
Which we drink on the back porch,
Grateful for a brief respite
After a tour of the house and grounds.
We drift in and out of time.
The enslaved Black men and women,
The enslaved Black children who worked
This farm emerge from the old
Smokehouse and cabins spread out
Before us. They call to us,
Tell us their names, then disappear.
The heat, the past overwhelm us.
On top of a column
Of the porch sits a bird’s nest
With mother and baby bird.
The other baby has fallen.
It lies in a corner of the porch.
It is beyond our help.
It feeds the ants that cover it.
Soon there’ll be nothing left
But a bit of bone and feather.
Out in the yard a cat calls.
We all rise, say good-bye
To the owners, a newly married
Gay couple from Atlanta.
Home isn’t that far from here.