Spoken from the Heart

for Athena

Each time I wander in the backyard with my granddaughter
it is an occasion to announce how happy the U.S.A. flag
seems, hanging mid-air, propelled by the breath of an
invisible wind, back and forth, waving ripples from
a staunch pole. She tells me how sad the flag seems
when there is a pause in the air, and the flag droops
as if some giant had withdrawn all the available oxygen.

Herbert Woodward Martin taught poetry, African American Literature at the University of Dayton. He has edited three volumes of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s works and has read him as far east as Egypt and as far west as Hawaii.