Cherry Hill

for all the girls who got it right and grew into women.

Cherry Hill don’t want a man taking care of her scabs and moving her crates from here to there,

She is just fine chasing those flies with her amber kitchen towel

sometimes in her pale blue nightgown.

Whatever man comes around, she don’t want none to stay;

There is no capacity for her, his woes, hidden whores and flaws,

Cherry Hill dun had it all, enough and now she wants no more.

            Miss Lady sways her way through her Black Woman scented stick corridors,

            candles lighting the spaces in between the walls she softens with framed            

            poetry and drawings from her favorite artists

            living her life like the thorns beneath her feet don’t hurt.

Her blinds have nothing to hide so they’re always high

And I like to spy

in from the corner of my curtain

I’m certain she knows I stare in wondering

if I could ever sip tea with her and verse my words about the flow of my existence,

For instance:

I’m stuck over some boy, broke and alone

and mama is either gone or smokes all day long

so I’m nervous about the nature of my situation and uh,

“Miss Cherry Hill, how is it that you are the way that you are?” I think I might say,

I want that

I would definitely add.

            Like the surety of time passing,

            when the daytime begins its plight

            she’ll be right by that window in plain view sight,

            looking on at something

            cupping a tea but never nothing,

Her braids kiss her shoulders like the light in her green eyes,

this woman is everything.

Is she praying?

Asking?

Perceiving?

Creating?

I do know that in her living,

She confuses men by the way she occupies spaces,

Invites stares from confused western faces

and shifts my movements in a quiet, stirring revolution because

Miss Cherry Hill,

from the window across your window,

I see you and

I salute you

for being a woman.

Michael Kelly