letnen journal: what’s in a name?


    I was one of the first to the farmer’s market
    this morning, determined to buy tomato
    plants before my day caught up with me.

    I was looking for heirlooms – seeds passed
    down from grower to grower, generation
    to generation, like stories worth repeating.

    Most have names like Mortgage Lifter or Dad’s
    Orange, but between the Black Cherry and
    the Cherokee Purple, I found someone

    I was not expecting to find: Paul Robeson.
    Last I heard he was an opera singer and activist
    who went to Russia and talked about equality,

    and they (not the Russians) watched
    his every move until his health gave way
    and he fell under the weight of the surveillance.

    I set my plant to stand in broad daylight
    while I wait for it to offer a hint of how
    a simple fruit carries such a complicated name



    1. What a fool Robeson was! Moscow today is one of the most dangerous places for non-whites to visit/live in in the world.
      The man didn’t like things at home? Fair enough. But he didn’t have to fall for the oldest logical fallacy of all: “If you don’t like my enemy, you’re a friend of mine.”
      The sad thing is, people still think this way.

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