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  • Writer's pictureArchuleta A. Chisolm


I always have a notebook and pen resting in my lap, while on long road trips. I anticipate seeing or hearing something that will spark my imagination. Patiently, I wait for it. Observation can be an extraordinary tool in creating poetry but you have to allow it to take its course.

I can't even tell you what state I was in or how long I had endured being a passenger. What I do know is that we came upon tall, dark trees standing in a body of water. It was breathtaking. The elements were having its way all around but these trees were not phased. It not only made me think of my ancestors but also of my own bravery for the personal journey I was in the midst of.

On this last day of Black History Month, I want to share one of my "road trip" poems entitled Fabric. It's my patient observation of strength, resilience, and history; it's a reflection of what has been endured and the hope that weaves us into the future.


On the grains of a parched land,

engraved footprints speak to us.

Orange skies that glimmer into river banks, and

the beat of African drums.

Hands that sew dreams into the open sky,

of chains that weave pain back into the night,

and a sun that beams on hopes and dreams.

Feet that tread foreign lands,

and tongues that sing old gospel spirituals.

Paths that blood, sweat, and tears have led to freedom

and the sacrifices that form our history.

In the height of this mountain,

the Serengeti’s clouds prepare

for the warmest rain it has ever seen.

We raise hands to God; ready to receive.

Our ancestors stitch their strength into us.

It rains down and saturates our core,

so that we can be free.

No longer shackled or chained.

No longer bound by

misguided reason.

With fingertips weary,

we continue to suture the truth

of our story

with sharp needles.

May God reside within each crease, and each seam.

And when we tear away,

He will heal our spirits.

We can be stretched to the limit;

fearfully and wonderfully woven into beauty.

With this fragile fabric, as see-through as it may be,

our thread still etches into a tapestry.

Skillful hands of the past gently press our story,

connecting, holding together, creating,

loving, feeling, living, and praying.

On the grains of a parched land,

our engraved footprints will

speak to a new generation.

And continue.

Copyright 2017

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