Summer finds her pregnant again
heat rash zigzags her long neck.
She sings a lullaby to Yoki who gurgles
fat fingers find her baby teeth.
Martin for dinner is late again.
Cabbage and pork chops wait.
Her lemon pie runs, the yellow kitchen
steams like the southern sun, a spotless spot .
Walter Cronkite drones on the black
and white then,
thunder not from clouds but crowds
of white not rain but insane hate
and fear. Through smoke she sees
her willow blue vase—grand heirloom—
shattered in the rubble of the picture
window blown to tiny fragments.
She watches him rush to her side
she whispers, dinner is ruined.
Black people come with guns and bats.
Men are prepared to strike back.
His hand halts them, says don't go so low.
They pray through clenched teeth
and the armed black men don't go
away. They board up the plate glass window
hole and sit firearms ready on the porch.
In their room he rocks her to sleep.
She dreams of a pink sand beach
where gulls glide on a turquoise sea.
In the dream she promises him
to always keep the peace.
Laughter. On the balcony,
mirth erupts from his settled soul.
Satisfied, loved, loving,
brothers break bread,
on each pea-green sprout--
tiny clouds like balloons pop,
at dusk, pop, pop. He falls
in his throat rising blood.