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Inheritance

 
 
 
To raconteur tongue,
          solar flare temper,
Mom’s cheekbones,
          Pop’s weak eyes,
to knuckle-busted hands,
          arachnid fingers,
Bible names,
          terracotta curves,
to plantations taken,
          vows broken,
a potential future: green-
         legged and stalling
         until the surgeon’s saw,
to musical ears,
         a fine reed of mouth,
solitary mothers,
         separations, restraining orders,
to holes:
         grandfather-shaped,
and fathers who
         fantasized absence,
plastic spoons,
         tall folks,
to soldiers, sailors
         in violent jungles,
roseless spring days,
         nights above melodic
         crack vial crunches,
to Bed Stuy,
         gunshots beyond school fences,
grandmother midwives,
         Ellis Island,
to Atlantic graveyard,
         blackened sea floor,
bad hearts,
         troubled brains
to titles, never-ending christenings,
         mistakes both breathing
         and not,
accepting blame,
         love under gaslight,
child-shaped collateral,
         juvenile bulls-eye,
to never ending right:
         a daughter, a poem.
 
 
 

Jordan E. Franklin is a Black poet from Brooklyn, NY. An alum of Brooklyn College, she recently earned her MFA from Stony Brook Southampton. Her work has appeared in the Southampton Review, Suffragette City Zine, Breadcrumbs, easy paradise and acorn & iris. In 2017, her work “Black Boy” was selected by Major Jackson as the winning poem of the James Hearst Poetry Prize hosted by the North American Review. Currently, she is the poetry editor for Suffragette City Zine and is working on her first poetry collection.