Remembering Maya and Sylvana


My granddaughter, Maya is

Named for this woman, poet of the people

She carried herself with such dignity

And my son Peter, who moved a chair for her

Watching out for her frailty when he was doing

His stint working the sound system for Black TV

In Nashville, was so impressed with her kindness

That he named his first child for Maya Angelou


My sculptor friend who died soon after my Maya’s

Birth gave me a book of the other Maya’s for my Maya

In it a leaf pressed and dried when I gave it to Maya

On her tenth birthday, reminded me that these giant

Women, are preserved in the books that we make of our lives.

Sylvana and Maya, you are sorely missed and yet we hear you songs

In the voices of our children and our children’s children.

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