No Apologies

Moon Man 1
By Jackie Joice
from Green Grapes Black Hands

I come from a poetic lineage
of writers.
I’m no Jeffers,
Saroyan,
or Steinbeck,
but feminine,
from an ancient rh negative bloodline.
I’m extracting data from
San Joaquin Valley
griots and
pushing feminist ’zines
and perspectives.
I’m a lyrical street pharmacist,
pushing grams of writing,
armed with a pen and camera,
peeling back the pages of history.
I’m peeling pages thick like the skin of
Pomegranates, which hold many
seeds of information.
I’m piecing the puzzle of my
pioneer folks’

California
Georgia
Kentucky
Louisiana
Texas
history.
My blood boils when the 5 Freeway
transitions to the 99.
I start thinking about
the generations of Black migrant farm
workers
in the fields between the vines,
avoiding wasp hives,
picking grapes,
picking fruits,
working on farms,
hauling hay,
and picking cotton,
rarely mentioned in California history pages.

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