The role of an artist is not only to be an eye, but an affirmation in the wilderness, a trumpet call, a challenge to outrage.
Veronica's work can be found online at:
From the Visit-South Carolina
What I remember about that morning was how the sky was corncob white,
and the sea spit up its smell, and filled the air with salt.
I never would have been standing there, watching,
but my car was rusting in a ditch along route 14,
titling its nose towards the highway—the highway
that passed through Virginia on its way
to more southern, more rural, North and South Carolina.
No one who came from South Carolina escaped the changelessness of that state;
while the rest of the country was kicking up Confederate dust
and marching on Montgomery jail houses or Mississippi schools,
or sitting at a lunch counter while a waitress worried over her wet mop,
South Carolina lay untouched, like Miss Havisham’s wedding cake.
Dusty and mournful and old, the state kept its tremulous grasp
on the neck of its Black population, cured them like ham,
saturated the countryside with fear. South Carolina was fear,
and if you met a Black man or woman from those parts,
it was natural to nod a little, tip your hat, recognize
they were alive — alive in a way that was against all expectations,
great or small.