- Ode to Ethiopia--after Paul Laurence Dunbar
At whose urging rang hammers and smoked forges? Compelled anyway we excursioned out, blacked out, blotted out, over dirty roads. A "bard" sat lute-playing with babies at her foot (lute or dulcimer), an unnamable mountain, we imagined. Kick-starting stones aside for me, she was genial enough as I made tours. Honest I labor. Leisure suits me, affords me honesty, keeps me in labor. At whose anger ram smoke and forces? Maids march down the hill, kicking all in their enlightened sights.
Nadia Nurhussein is an assistant professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.