By Nyah Hardmon
This poem was first published June 2021 in Poetry Magazine here.
My nana be born caterpillar, but she didn’t stay that way.
How silly it is to live a beginning so different from the end.
Scrunched up on ground, not knowing you will soon be cousins with the sky.
My nana be pretty wings and all.
Fluttering on by one stroke at a time. She be
Free. Tempting the fate of gravity.
Flying high, flying neat.
She laughs and music is born, wings beating to the beat.
When she come around the air grows sweet with rhythm and blues.
She be queen bee and B.B. her king.
Line dancing through the clouds,
my nana be butterflying, in every sense of the word.
Sees the world as her canvas and uses her wings to paint life onto every surface she kisses,
And man do them wings glisten.
Something straight out of a Maxwell song.
Too pretty to remain on ground so sky is where she be
And man do she be flyin’.
When you’ve lived how she lived on the other end
You learn to never let go of freedom’s hand. Never forget its taste.
She flies as if the moment she stops she will plummet to ground again.
My nana be caterpillar at heart.
Not knowing why she was gifted such beautiful rebirth
But knowing that it is here now and here it will stay, at least she prays.
My nana be born hopeless
But she didn’t stay that way.
Source: Poetry (June 2021)