To A Black Woman

by Mwatabu S. Okantah

she did not know
she could touch him in his wordlove.
she was only being herself.
there was no warning,
no way for her
to have known ...

as if out of a dream,
she came to him
in a line of poetry.
he chanted her name
to fill the void only his silences could bear.

she did not know.

outside the dream,
he searched for her inside
the quiet mine of his poetry,
reached out to her across
the wide canyon of his fears,
across the deep
space of running years
emptying into
time's winding stream.

she did not know
how she had touched him,
touched into him,
into that secret sacred place,
that night private place
where poets go
before the words become
a poem.

no one could tell her ...

it surprised him
to meet her in the poetry,
walking along
the shores of his dream
filled days.
she could not know
he would see her,
still, standing there.
she could not know
the poetry waved
his high tide tension out to a calm sea.

was there to tell her?

inside his dream,
she could not
know he would delight
in her garden:
how could she know
he would find
her waiting for him there?

who could have told her?

she could not know,
inside the poemlove he would find
her waiting for him there ...


To A Black Woman by Mwatabu S. Okantah

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