restricted access Praise Song
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Praise Song

Praise God:the able & handsome medic

came home fully intactfrom Iraq,

that the steely Gullah slavewho was his grey-eyed

great-great-great-grandmothersurvived endless snares

to savor a life, scot-freeof iron-hearted masters,

harsh shouts, & malarial fields.Praise Jesus:

the long-lost, injured breadwinner,the junk-taking, lowcountry Job,

made the change at last.Lord, we were spat on;

we were whippedin a Sea Island school,

the soul-struck,still-scrappy locals sing,

but now “us speakour Gullah proudly.”

Praise Heaven for hard-put,against-all-odds aunties,

& savvy, okra-cooking grannies,who’ve kept the flame

for the always-present-tense gloryof living Gullah. [End Page 377]

Cyrus Cassells

Cyrus Cassells is the author of six books of poetry, including The Crossed-Out Swastika (Copper Canyon, 2012) and the forthcoming The Gospel According to Wild Indigo. He was also a finalist for the Balcones Poetry Prize for Best Book of 2012. Among his other honors a Lannan Literary Award, a Lambda Literary Award, a Pushcart Prize, and two NEA grants.