Poetry As Song: This Is My Body

THIS IS MY BODY

This is my body
Red southern clay
The river’s my blood
And my soul’s highway

I bow to the weather
Misfortune and time
And rejoice in the tangles
Of wild muscadine

The lakes are my eyes
Awake in the fields
My wrinkles are tracks
Of old wagon wheels

Watching the speed of
A peregrine sky
Clouds and eternity
Sailing on high

Pines and the oak trees
These are my hands
My feet are the roots
Where my heritage stands

And I call to the seasons
And sing for the storm
Praising the sunshine
Keeping me warm

My dreams are the echoes
Of grandfather’s days
Our voices resolve
Like sea island ways

Careless as summer
I welcome the rain
And flow to the oceans
Through satisfied veins

Tales of our children
The scuppernong sings
And the love of our mothers
And swallow-tailed wings

The pain of our fathers
Lies in the hills
Torn from the land
To never be still

This my body
Red southern clay
The river’s my blood
And my soul’s highway

–Jack Williams

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