Wednesday, April 21, 2010
April 6, 2010 MARY
The prompt for today is to write an ekphrastic, which is poetry that "imitates, describes, critiques, dramatizes, reflects upon, or otherwise responds to a work of nonliterary art, especially the visual."
The accompanying visuals for today’s prompt were a photo of Jessica Biel as Pocahontas (smarmy; you can google it if you like) and Goya’s Flight of the Witches (not. pretty.)
SO! I am inspired to write about my great-grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Micheaux, who on her birth certificate was said to be 1/2 Cherokee Indian and 1/2 French fur trapper, with a grandmother by the name of Pocahontas Culpepper (you can google that, too, where you will find a connection to Africa, which might explain some genetic revelations in my family’s offspring.)
This is a photo of Mary and two of her children, who would have been aunt and uncle to my father. Mary had ten children of her own and helped raise my father and his brother.
Grandmother to Scores, Granddaughter of Pocahontas
From a faded image of
You and yours,
Descendants of true American royals;
Still disputed to be of genuine African lineage,
Where real monarchs came from,
(Yet called “high yellow”
By the ill-bred),
I see your majesty
In noble nose,
Head held up;
Children at your beck.
You are content in your veiled nobility
Unaware of your effect
On future voyeurs,
Chiefs and warriors,
Only to discover
A princess of Pocahontas pedigree.
My pride comes with satisfaction
I am of sovereign line
To stand tall, reach high.