USE TROUBLE

for Jacob Armstead Lawrence1917-2000, in memoriam

You told this to the children when they confessed their works

were incomplete your dignity grace a mapped space for trouble

your migration series at 23 synaptic code for having nothing

as you built off the backs of the poor your symmetries where paint was talk

“gumbo yaya” Hayden (your collaborator) coined it about his native paradise valley

a nourishment of the Detroit ghetto while you were content with Harlem

a sixty-block walk to MoMA for filial instruction

of the Italian Renaissance: now in Seattle they lay you down

those parts Indian of your heritage in Chief Seattle’s words:

“This we know— All things are connected like the blood”

migraines at gunpoint bullet-ridden love song as migrants

to the highest plane a vast battlefield of tones

over vegetation of the visible where there is no insurance

yet in retrospective fantasy to remake the spirit in your name

Steve CannonTribes