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Poetry: From the May/June 2012 issue | See all poetry



Tallahatchie

for Emmett Till

In the mirror this river made of you
waxes a mother’s wish: I want the whole world
to see what they did to my boy.
In the casket,
you whistle, stuttering. You reek under glass. So
this is what a river will do, carve and swell
just like a woman, singing a glossy blues.
Lord knows, your face—it sorrows across my page.

Lord knows your face. It sorrows across my page
just like a woman singing a glossy blues.
This is what a river will do, carve and swell.
You whistle, stuttering. You reek under glass, so
to see what they did to my boy.  In the casket
waxes a mother’s wish. I want the whole world
in the mirror this river made of you.

- Susan B. A. Somers-Willett

Susan B. A. Somers-Willett is the author of three books of poetry and criticism, including Quiver, which won the Writers’ League of Texas Book Award. She is Assistant Professor of English at Montclair State University.

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