Iris Ann by Belinda Edwards
My name is Iris Ann.
I am from North Carolina
from red dirt, broken down
pick-ups trucks and chicken coops
from sweet water pumped from
deep ancestral memories
broken down beds, and porches,
and pregnant white blond haired
I am from no toilets, no outhouse,
You are from the city, inside toilet,
running water, electricity,
hot, tall, buildings,
I am from this land of memories;
You from the land of opportunity.
Iris Ann dreamed of the red dirt in North Carolina and her father’s old broken down pick-up truck. She tossed and turned, and with each turn, her Queen-sized bed squeaked, pulling her into the sound of the rusty water pump on the farm.
In her dream, she could smell the sweet water pumped from slumber beneath her family property. This property had been in her father’s family, way before the Civil War. This is the property her family dreamed of while in servitude across the big water. She dreams now of this broken down place and longs for its simpleness as she navigates the concrete canyons of Baltimore.
Esperanza by Hannah S Wiseheart
She is born embodying the memories of her past ancestors and the hopes of her community. She, chosen to be named Esperanza, is a weaver. You can see it in her braided dreadlocks, from her father's dark chocolate people brought over the sea from Africa, and in her smooth caramel skin bearing the tint of her mother's Sephardic people from Morocco and Spain. You can see it in her eyes that show sight beyond sight, that reflect memories beyond memories. The gift given to her is that she, a girl, because of her name, can be anything, is unfettered and free. In her freedom of listening and speaking with the ancestors, she draws in stories and even sensations from far away. On one bright moonlit night, a thing came into her from a dream, a spiderlike memory that came into her belly and brought the warm fur of all the old stories of the ancient people.
I called her Little Esperanza the Weaver, for she carried so many tales within her soul, and I myself saw her taking them out like skeins of colored thread, laying the lines out, and bringing them together with another one from a different direction. I knew she was pulling these threads out of the great hole of time, like one of those containers that allow only the single thread to be pulled, and leave the rest of the wound ball spinning in the dark below where it cannot be seen. This is how she drew on the magic in which she was born.