Praise Dave

Enslaved potter-poet

Edgefield, SC


First time I see a jar rise up,

I be midwifed into life.


Understood how these pots and I be kin

––dismissed to what’s under foot.


I learned to turn and turn––

people the world with pots.


I pour my need into the knead

until forty thousand around me crowd,


but everything I love, I lose

so I want what I mold  to hold.


Even my empty pots

be full. One say:


I wonder where is all my relation

Friendship to all and every nation.


There are lanterns in my words––

every story got another story.


Some call me Dave the slave, if that’s all they got,

I say leave the rhymes to me.


When people look at me, a slave be

the first excuse they use not to see me.


I say praise me.  It won’t fall on deaf ears.

I catch praise like most people catch naps.


I am a 6-foot vessel of anything, but ordinary

a one of a kind with a Carolina shine.


I stepped out of the rows of cotton

to master the potter’s wheel.


I take the wind out of can’t.

with my mark, I make a mark.


I sign my name Dave.

I don’t write slave.


See if my pots and me put a spin on history.

See if we   hold   hold   hold.