A Black Woman’s
fingers of right, hand hug handle of tea cup
cup clutched atop kitchen table
tapping “Mississippi Goddam” with fingers of left hand
handmade biscuits & gravy placed in oven for (son, daughter, lover, or
black-skinned other) still not home for dinner
dinner dish suds splash sour on lips parted in supplication:
lord bring my baby home. safe.
Denise Miller is a professor, poet and mixed media artist whose publications include poems in the Offing, African American Review and Blackberry: A Magazine. They were named the 2015 Willow Books Emerging Poet, an AROHO Waves Discussion Fellowship awardee, a finalist for the Barbara Deming Money for Women Fund, and a Hedgebrook Fellow. Their full-length manuscript, Core, was released by Willow Books in November 2015 and has since been nominated for a 2016 American Book Award and a 2016 Pushcart Prize. Additionally, a number of their individual poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Miller has also been named a 2016 William Randolph Hearst Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society. Their chapbook, Ligatures was published in 2016 by Rattle Press. Most recently, they have been awarded a 2020 Hart Residency and a 2020 Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Fellowship. More of their work can be found at www.denisemiller.studio.