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  You could have a big dipper   

Strawberry Mansion by Ilari Pass

In the city of brotherly love

lives a beautiful Black woman

you love the way she moves—

so charming and uncomplicated

on the back of her horse

Fletcher Street is the only home

she’s ever known and desperate to save

here comes the hurt again

the chase for stillness, the silence

she must look very beautiful

when she takes off. Her long, brown hair

flutters in the wind. She could be a victory

Belladonna in her red flame cowboy boots

with not a care in the world what strangers think about her while they sit stuck inside a bus

Look at how she gingerly grasps the reins

the kind of calming presence

that you would want

when reading a book

See that tranquil woman

ride her horse

not to a performance

How strange

that minutes later

she’s still in the same spot


Ilari Pass is a poetry consultant for Free State Review, and serve as a Representative Reader for African American culture for North Carolina Writers' Network. Her Greatest Hits appears in The American Journal of Poetry, ONE ART, Paterson Literary Review, and others. When she's not writing, she is reciting Surahs (Chapters) from the Noble Quran.

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