But the iron thing they carried, I will not carry.
Soon mama’s eligible but
it’s much too late for Boomers, the
long-uninsured with low iron,
bad gums, that diabetic thing
lodged long ago in the blood they
say is her own black fault, carried
from the womb since birthing me. I
can care for mama but what will
happen to those whose treasure’s not
a child, only blood they carry?
Kevin Simmonds is a writer and musician based in San Francisco. His books include the poetry collection Mad for Meat (Salmon Poetry) and two edited works, Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion & Spirituality and Ota Benga Under My Mother’s Roof. He wrote the music for the Emmy Award-winning documentary HOPE: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica and, most recently, the noh theatre piece Emmett Till, a river, commissioned by the Creative Work Fund. He’s received three San Francisco Arts Commission grants and support from Fulbright, Cave Canem and the Pulitzer Center.