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Diasporas, Cultures of Mobilities, ‘Race’ 3

 | 
Corinne Duboin
, 
Claudine Raynaud

African Americans: ‘Race’ and/in War

Miss odessa

Odessa Wynn Brown (1923-2004)

Melba Joyce Boyd

Texte intégral

From her front porch
she purveys politics
and urban folktales;
with sweet cakes and
coffee brewed in
a dented pot,
she ministers the
distraught
and listens
to gossip
like TV
soap operas.

Her house is
an open door—
a nursery where
children play,
a haven where
homeless stay,
a clinic for
healing the sick—
a rest home,
where the
dying lay.

Nothing escapes
Miss Odessa’s gaze—
not the discretes
waying of trees,
nor a broken
tea leaf,
not the irregular
schedule
of the postman,
nor the scurry
of clocked workers,
not the conspiracy
of spiders
weaving traps
between cracks,
like the anonymous
assassins that
murdered
her son.

But the surgeon
could not capture
or cut out
the cancerous
creature that
found her
watching over
Strathmoor Street.

The doctors
could only offer
the balm of
narcotic sleep
to stay
the suffering
of dreams.

© Presses universitaires de la Méditerranée, 2016

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