The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


E. Ethelbert Miller

Slave Narratives


I slip indoors after searching
for hours for the North Star.
Rumors have been spreading
about how a fabulous day
is a night with no moon.
The problem with plantations
is that the pizza driver never
comes. Just yesterday my copy
of Ebony was delivered to
the Big House. Massa had
a fit. Now I'll have to hide
my Coltrane and Miles
records under the big quilt.
I hear slavery is hard
on the eyes but a beautiful
woman can teach you to read
in the dark.




E. ETHELBERT MILLER is a writer and literary activist. He is the author of several collections of poems and two memoirs and the board chair of the Institute for Policy Studies. In April 2015, Miller was inducted into the Washington, DC Hall of Fame. His most recent book is The Collected Poems of E. Ethelbert Miller, edited by Kirsten Porter and published by Willow Books.



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