Georgia

I do remember Atlanta,
the muddy, clay banks
of the Chattahoochee,
riding my bike along its shores
calling to men
carved in stone
on horseback
across the mountainsides.

I marched the cold streets
in January, held my breath
on stage at Ebenezer Baptist,
cradling Coretta’s hand.

I caught tadpoles and
insects in springtime,
watched them struggle
towards freedom, confused
and panicked when
instinct failed.

Found solace in deep water,
honeysuckle and dark woods.

And swinging out over the pond
I wondered what it would
mean to let go, fall feet
first into murky water or
swing full force into
a strong oak on shore.

But always my feet
touched ground, clung
to the silty embankment,
heart open for more.