Next Time (a meditation on ancestral memories).
Article Type: Poem
Author: Powell, Jeanne
Pub Date: 11/01/2010
Publication: Name: Journal of Pan African Studies Publisher: Journal of Pan African Studies Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Journal of Pan African Studies ISSN: 0888-6601
Issue: Date: Nov, 2010 Source Volume: 4 Source Issue: 1
Accession Number: 306754386
Full Text: [won first prize, Detroit Writers Guild, 2002]

Jeanne Powell (, is a poet and short story writer, who teaches in a summer program for teens. Her most recent books are "My Own Silence" and "Word Dancing," available online and through booksellers. She also hosts spoken word events in San Francisco, and covers cultural happenings for online media.
Next Time (a meditation on ancestral memories)

   wading into reflections
   immersed in the roar of the crowd
   free Cathy walked toward the center of the earth
   lowered her torch to the still waters
   ignited a running ring
   the fire dance surrounded her
   please do not let them burn her

   logic said they left her a way to escape
   they won't burn her she's their only
   Aboriginal symbol
   pioneer and champion
   reason replied they burn symbols have
   incinerated pioneers may sacrifice champions
   do not let them burn her

   she would make such a glowing sacrifice
   consecrate the games fire their spirits
   purify the hemorrhaging history of
   Down Under's new world order
   so brave her grace in silent
   running waves all around her
   do not let them burn her

   a sly miracle woman she
   escaped the burning
   stepped clear of the ring
   leaving the fire this time
   and faced the arena
   where the crowd waited
   for the games to begin
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