The wild winds of January
spiraled o’er the gray bay
stole its mist, its frigid waters
absorbed its basest core.
The wintery gusts iced purloined beads
exhaled on sailing ships
left sleet in cracks and crevices
of cobblestones and bricks.
Half-frozen seas spat on glass panes
of crude homes, lush mansions.
They settled in the beards of gents
on bustles of their dames.
A shivering girl whose shawl embraced
yet never could repel
the bitter bite of raging winds
or winter’s frosty sting.
She waited for a man who sold
escape from life’s cruel whip.
The hope of freedom warmed her skin
as her torn wrap could not.
The bright promise of midday sun
faded in dark of night.
She stood alone as sun met sky
and blurred the great divide.
The link to Freedom Road was cut
as no one did arrive.
The spirit of the dark-skinned girl
fell with the death of hope.
Rebirth of yesterday’s clear sun
split the horizon line.
Its light shone on ice-shimmered sea
and signaled dawn anew.
No longer pensive dreamer she
the girl at last succumbed
to shackles of her servile birth
and treachery of man.
Before she died, she thanked the Lord
for lifting off her yoke
and severing her iron chains
for one sweet slice of time.