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Sanders, Kay / That red dirt road
(2010)

Remembering Aunt Essie's hair,   pp. 13-14


Page 13

Remembering Aunt Essie's Hair
In the powdered red dirt I stoop,
a child on the edge
of the family plot, searching
for cone-shaped depressions in sand.
I drag my stick around the rim
of one, in a circle wide and slow,
spiral down, chanting.
Doodle bug, doodle bug,
fly away home,
your house is onfire
and your babies are gone.
The rhyme ends
as the stick reaches centerpoint,
exposing a small, grey bug.
Miniscule legs flail, fold
inward, the body rolled into a tight
smooth ball. A ball like the hair gathered
at the nape of Aunt Essie's neck,
strands pulled tight to the bone,
lines etched on her face
like names and dates on stone.
13


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