Long grass growing
in a Tidewater salt marsh,
unadorned stalks that somehow survive
in the brackish water
of a landscape compromised
between wet and dry.

Blue stem growing
on the Kansas prairie
before it’s turned for corn
in a landscape level
to the certainties
of right and good.

Kentucky 31 growing
rich green in a suburban lawn,
manicured and fertilized,
groomed for success,
in a complex landscape rooted
in the rural past and urban present.

From Virginia Quakers
to Kansas abolitionists
to now—it’s the grasses growing
that remind me of my roots
and who I am.



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