AFAA M. WEAVER
My father has a picture of me
taken around the time Charlie Parker
died. I am sitting up like a prince,
erect, bright, smiling. I have promise
around my head woven in vines
of gold, but this is not in the picture.
I remember radio from then,
checking the paper for my shows.
My father had a habit of bringing
home toys to me, small things on days
he got paid. It was a reward
for being firstborn and being a son.
I was supposed to make the future
a safe place. I had to kill the lion.
I look at my son and my brother.
I look at my father. The four of us
are a circuit where the current is
a stream of hope & fear, floating,
going back, living and not living.
We hold up our hands and dreams
fly out of them, birds of blue electric
[Selected from Multitudes]