A White Singer In a Black Blues Club

by John Grey

The big woman plays the piano.
Modified blues for white fingers.
She may not fit the model
but still wants her story told.
That’s why she bellows
like there’s slaves in her ancestry.
There’s not.
Hollers like the whip came down.
It didn’t.
Her pain, her bruises,
come with a history
that’s hers alone.
And this is a blues club.
For picking cotton,
a brute of an ex will have to do.

 

Artist: Everett Spruill

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dunes Review, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Thin Air, Dalhousie Review and failbetter.