Melting sugar
Patricia Spears Jones

Child porters carried cane
Child porters made molasses

The abandoned factory
elegantly populated
with child porters
made of molasses
Melting
As did flesh when child porters
Had bones and muscles and whistled
And heaved

Sun encircles the figures
Their backs melting
Their eyes melting
Arms breaking off

Oh volcanos and campfires
Oh first puddle loudly announced
That mother’s nurture
long silenced, un-remembered

Big breasted white wall of sugar
Head wrap shaped to peak
Pitch roofed house
Does not suckle

Thus, child porters cannot grow
veins
rot
teeth
missing

for Janice Lowe.


Odd to hear stories about the Fall of Saigon

Saigon did not fall.
Saigon was liberated.
The frame within the frame
Is like mice peeling wallpaper-one tiny
Bite after another tiny bite.

Helicopters plopped in water
The sound of defeat-leave behind
Not one thing to help your enemy
Those colonized—they bit the hand
That barely fed them. Good for them.

Oh our wounded pride, America
Beat as June said by little people
With funny shaped hats on and guns
& passion for their own homeland

Their home. Their land. Their water
Their sun. Their songs. Their tongues.

Liberated in a bright Spring,
When Embassy staff stripped
The wires out of the walls
And blocked the collaborators
From finding safe passage, until
One or two broke ranks.

Ugly is the end of this war
And ugly still is the memory
Of transport, the grasping hands
The generals retreat over water
Into air.


Patricia Spears Jones is an African American poet, playwright, literary curator. cultural commentator and editor. She is author of A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems, her seventh publication. She has lived “up South” for 4 decades.

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