A French Sonnet
by Thomas Davis
The old black man, eyes bright as noonday sun,
Splashed from the wooden boat onto the shore.
He lifted up his voice, the waves Death’s Door
Whipped white behind him, praised the blessed Son
Of God and New Jerusalem and spun
Around, his arms held high, a troubadour
Of his escape from slavery and war
To wilderness, the role of sacristan
To fisherman and men and women freed
From whips and masters and slaver’s creed
Of dominance designed to pinch the soul
And void the human spirit’s vital flame.
“Praise God!” the prophet said, the roll
Of waves against his feet. “Praise God’s sweet name!”