by Elizabeth DeBarros


fields of cotton smiling at me

“You want revivin’?”

Okay then,

 stop lookin’ so glum.

 You be dug up from the grave,

lifted high on a stick.

Every last one of dem bones

be ‘sessed ‘n’ ‘counted for —

dem ones all snapped and hollow.

You be a sight fer sore eyes,

blackened stiff —

void o’ counsel.

“It’s breath ya need, boy, yer fresh outta wind.”

Then they’ll carry you into da house,

high up on a stick.


she’ll turn  

flashin’ her pretty blue eyes 

lookin’ alive

lurin’ ya into  her arms —

But dat’s only half o’ her, 

ya see.

“Last name’s Folly — 

she’ll tear ya ta pieces when yer not lookin’.”

Oh, right, you have no eyes.

Blind as a bat —

Wastin’ time, did ya?

Hangin’ upside down,

circlin’ dem murky waters

over ‘n’ over, 

never gettin’ by, let alone far.

Livin’ on bits o’ scrap ‘n’ dirt flies.


“What you doin’, boy?”

“You outta yer mind?”

“I be prayin’ fer ya,  

 least I can do.”

Give me your night,

All your broken glass

from the window you broke,

your feeble attempts at pleasure.

I will give you eyes to see what the wise and learned have yearned to see.

Listen, and I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

Then you will no longer tolerate sin.

You will find Me

as you walk out the rest of your days

in newness of life.

Hey, did ya hear?

Da man’s all bettah, lookin’ smart. 

Dat boy’s been put back together.

“Yeah, no maw dem hollow bones heard rattlin’.”

Yeah, we be revivin’.


 ©Elizabeth DeBarros 2013

fields of cotton smiling at me

 In honor of the slave and the freedman.