A Poem For Saturday


In honor of Black History month, we are posting poems by black poets past and present all month long. Previous selections are here, here, and here. This weekend’s first poem is “The Ravine” by Cyrus Cassells:

“The Holocaust by Bullets,” Ukraine, 1941-1944,
Nina Roufimovna Lisitsina

In my fifth
holy year on earth,

I climbed out of a corpse-filled,

breakspirit ravine,
clutching the roots of trees

(so beautiful,
the god-tall cypresses,

the grandfather pines
in that part of the Crimea),

and groped my way, gingerly,
toward my twilit village,

the lone, itinerant survivor.
The pull, the rose light

of home
is unkillable.

(From The Crossed-Out Swastika © 2012 by Cyrus Cassells. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Copper Canyon Press. Photo of a Ukrainian cemetery by Kyle Taylor)