Circling the Daughter

You came / to be / in the Month of Malcolm,

And the rain /  fell with a fierce gentleness like a martyr’s tears,

On the streets of Manhattan, when your Light was Lit.

And the city sang you welcome. Now, I sit,

Trembling in your presence. Fourteen years

Have brought the moon-blood, the roundness, the girl-giggles.

We are touch-tender in our fears.

 

You break my eyes with your beauty.

Ouu-ou-baby-I love-you.

 

Do not listen to the lies of old men

Who fear your power,

Who preach that you were “born-in-sin.”

A flower is moral by its own flowering.

Reach always within

For the Music and the Dance and the Circling.

 

O Tandiwe, my Beloved of this land;

Your spring will early,

And when the earth begins its humming,

Begin you dance with men with a Grin,

And a Grace of whirling, your place

Is neither ahead nor behind; neither right nor left.

The world is Round. Make the sound

Of your breathing a silver bell at midnight

Or the chilling wet of the morning dew.

 

You break my eyes with your beauty.

Ouu-ou-baby-I love-you.

- Etheridge Knight