What Comes Now? by Mary Moore Easter

“What Comes Now?” by Mary Moore Easter is a poem in which the poet and her subject, Eliza (a Mississippi slave), ponder her world, mid-escape. Is this a song of celebration or an elegy of lament? Is it about Eliza’s world in 1860 or the poet’s world “now?” In the middle of this early 21st century poem about a late 19th century woman, the poet quotes a 20th century poem by Lucille Clifton. On the surface, this appears to be a straightforward story about a woman who escaped from slavery into freedom, but the poem ripples with meaning, like “the roiling surface / of (a) wet river.” If you are willing to ponder with Eliza and the poet, every reread will carry you further “out / in unseen time and space.”

Read More »