(in honor of Giles Hall, Spelman College)
Majestic red-bricked sight
Shuttered door in peeling white
Dwarfed by sheer tow’ring height
trellised four-storied light
Slated belfry pierce the night
world-wearied eyes dusted in speckled grey
Mirroring wisdom of many a day
Aged oak limbs yellowed and long
Fluting winter’s last swansong
On much trodden mould dusted in soft burnished gold
What secrets do they really hold?
in December’s tired dance
Sagacity echoes in your very stance
Heads bow in humble obeisance
To your o’er pow’ring omniscience
So . . . can you tell . . .
Of TV camera lights blasting bold
Casting you in A Different World
Can you tell . . .
How Harriet and Sophia burned
And in Friendship Baptist turned
Of those who yearned
To rise, and sit and learn
Like Miss Mamie from ole Decatur town
shut out, shut up, long before Brown
Etta, Ludie-Mae and Aunt Dell . . .
So Can you tell . . .
Of ancient lore, Anansi tales or more
of starched voices, ruffled pinafores
praising all homemaker’s score
Well . . .can you tell?
How many have graced these hallowed halls
how many tried within these walls
to rise up with the few
of dark accursed hue
What dainty little damsel queens
Emerged to grace this tidy scene
in white-gloved work hands
from this Southern land
And did you see. . .
When that poor child fell
Pinned ‘neath your sorrowing tree
You were there. . . so did you see?
And can you tell?
Your many secrets kept so well
Dear old G-I-L-E-S
I'm captive in
© Kalypsoul 01.14.05