Where Gold Remains

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“Nature’s first green is gold/
Her hardest hue to hold.”
–Robert Frost

A poet once wrote
“Nothing gold can stay.”
Perhaps he never stood
at the corner of Gwinnett
and Campbell and watched
the grandsons and granddaughters
of West African captives
spin golden lives out
of livings.

Maybe he never witnessed
industrious domestics
depositing their gold-shaped
dreams in the Penny Bank
to swell into Morehouse, Spelman, Paine tuitions,
‘64 Thunderbirds, taffeta Easter dresses,
a pair of patent leather wingtip shoes.
He certainly never saw the golden
cocoa-buttered grins of brown
girls and boys scurrying home
from schools named for
giants: Laney, Johnson, Walker.
He never beheld Lucy’s
eternal flame keeping
constant watch
over black children with
golden hearts—their brown-eyed
aspirations turning fire
into hope.

His eyes were never dumbfounded
watching sky crack open
and golden sun pour a beam
of divine light stretching from the threshold of Immaculate Conception
to the face of Tabernacle—
a miracle bathed in gold.

To the poet I say “Yes. Gold
stays.” Look in the hands of
Dr. Carter; listen to the rhythmic chatter in
the barber shops and beauty salons; inhale
the spirit of these blocks and discover
gilded veins flowing in and out
of the heart of the city
where gold remains.