Mahalia Jackson

« I sing the LORD'S songs »
(palms once tough to stay alive,
alarm clock on five).

Cinnamon cheeks, Lord,
cornbread smile.     SONGS     feed your ribs
when you're hungry, chile.

Washboard certainties,
soldierly grace, text and style
in her brimming face.

Your hand on your heart,
her voice in your ear:     pilgrim,
rest easy.     Sit here.

by James Emanuel

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