by Malika Booker
I look into night and its black
is a gathering of John Crows, in
shiny black frocks waiting
for morning to pick my son’s bones.
This night I wondering, how I could kill
Isaac, my only boy chile and milk still
in he eye. He navel string not too long
cut and buried beneath that Mammy
Apple tree and my doubts are ringworms
borrowing into my skin, my hand shaking bad,
bad, water springing from my pores like wild
rain. I sweating like the wicked, hands shaking
more bad now, causing big man like me to weep,
bawl like I is a little girl child. Causing
big man like me to hold on to babbash bottle
and swig back hard liquor. As I drink
I thinking how I go tell he mother? How
I go tell she that I kill she only boy child,
and leave he tie up there on a block
of wood for wild beast and old crows
to peck? This night is wildness,
and I here stranded in the wilderness,
lost in misery, me-one, asking how
I could do this thing? There is no\
comfort this night. I want to snatch
up my son and run, hold he to my chest,
I want to lay my body down on that pile
of wood, take he place. Blood, that is
of my own blood, how could I harm him?
Poem copyright 2023 by Malika Booker. All rights reserved.
See also, “My Ghost in the Witness Stand,” by Malika Booker debuted on The Fight & The Fiddle.
Read more in this issue: Interview | Critical Essay | Writing Prompt