To My Poet Sister
As of this hour, the sun has been up some time and is bright as August begins
and an invisible hand moves among leaves, tickles them in their deeply green
luster. I’m thinking of you, the look in your eyes—weary. I want to fill this house
with music, do some throwback moves, call on all our blessed overcomer’s:
Lena, Aretha and Nina, call on Natalie, Whitney and all the sisters gone too soon
who left music just for us. Let’s dance on this sunny morning. Let’s turn it up,
tap, slide and work what the good Lord gave us. Let me make you breakfast and
a cup of tea. Let’s say morning prayers. Then drive nowhere in particular under
the summer sun, turn the music up again, sing like we’ve got talent, sing the
songs of the great sisters past—songstresses who would trade places with us,
(two plain, brown-skinned girls) beautiful black sisters who wish they were us
because we see the breeze move among the leaves and feel the sun burn our skin.
Ellen June Wright was born in England of West Indian parents and immigrated to the United States as a child. She taught high-school language arts in New Jersey for three decades before retiring. She has consulted on guides for three PBS poetry series. Her work was selected as The Missouri Review’s Poem of the Week in June 2021. She was a finalist in the Gulf Stream 2020 summer poetry contest and is a founding member of Poets of Color virtual poetry workshop and studies writing at the Hudson Valley Writers Center.