the black and white keys,
the piano, the only friend of a lonely, dreamy, fervent
child from across the tracks.
grew prophetic, classical,
little, lilted and black
yet she couldn’t strike back,
a husband who pretended to love her
with a mean hitting hand,
sought to ease her sorrow
looking with improvisation
Turbulence shackled her shoulders, her soul
and at corners she circled not knowing
which way to go,
raging, performing, shining on and on,
stage to stage,
stairs up and down,
the days of lights, laughter, and neighbors
and inky-deep indigo nights,
played and traveled and looked for a home.
We bid you only comfort, dearest,
darling with your righteous fingers
did what she could.
Sail on, ebony goddess, you are
forever bound in our endearments, twinkling
you settle, settle,
among the clouds of the comforting place
where you are
free, free, free.
Free to just be.
Copyright © 2016 by Susan E. Rowland
4 thoughts on “Poem for Nina Simone”
Susan, exquisite poetry. Fine and beautiful even expressing loneliness and cruelty, like the woman Nina Simone. I love your images ” inky-deep indigo” and “at corners she circled”.
I so appreciate your comments. I was hoping this didn’t leave the reader down or depressed. Sometimes the most talented people have such serious challenges. Writing about creative people is tricky. I’m finding poetry is an immediate way to express what I feel. I re-worked it for days. ❤
Nina Simone! Love her! Thank you for this very beautiful tribute.
Hi Inese, thank you for stopping by! I agree. She was one of a kind. ❤ I have been enjoying your work so much. I hope to catch up this weekend. So many wonderful blogs out there.