South Into Mississippi
My face is in the rounded window
of a southbound greyhound bus.
I am ten.
four thin fingers and a thumb
hold close a leather bag
handed to me by dad.
He kissed me.
my Mississippi travels began,
more or less in the custody of fanny emory,
a friend, also headed south;
we sit near the buses back,
behind the ‘for colored’ sign;
not far behind two on their way home soldiers
recruited by dad to further insure my safety.
Past fields corn and cotton, beyond silos silver,
through pasture and forest filled with silent cows.
From beneath sackcloth scarves women stare;
sometimes they wave.
Then the town with streets and houses.
out the round window i see her standing,
anxious almost but excited.
She receives me and my leather bag
in full embrace; and we walk home.