bwg poem: A Doula’s Welcome

Well Jimmy, I’ll tell you now
what you been telling me:
We in the high cotton now!
Done crossed over
and we have ENTERED
the master’s house,
from the front door, no less.
No sitting in the kitchen because
company has come.
We are, you are, Jimmy
is home again.

And we welcome you,
as part of the
unofficial welcoming
committee, I greet you with
open arms
and can’t wait
to hear about
all the fun
you been having,
the truly delightful life
you have lived,
snapping snapshots,
oh my bad—
you visual historian—
my bad,
taking pictures,
oh my bad,
capturing moments
oh my bad,
stealing souls.

Yeah, can’t wait
to hear about
all of the soulful
and self-full work you been
doing down in the N.O.
Faubourg Treme, ya heard.
I’ll miss you and yes,
lil Jimmy did cry for you.
Way back in Harlem when he came
to the brownstone. He’d been
crying deep red tears.

So I said,
MAMA, MAMA,
Jimmy’s here,
you know, Jimmy B
Baldwin’s people.

So, JB, just know that
we cry sweet tears
for you
and we dab your
wounds in our love
for you.
Remember Jimmy, that Jimmy
is crying for you.

Jim, You’re safe here.
These
hallowed halls
will
hold you and all that you
have done and
will do.

Can’t wait to see life
through your eyes and meet
all the people you know.

Welcome.
As Walcott would say,
‘feast on your life,’
as He would say
you are the gift that keeps on giving,
as Jimmy would say,
Keep Hunting,
as Henri would say,
Bye for now,
ya dig.

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