Aretha

we danced out of high school
that summer
into the dormitory
of Northeastern U’s White Hall.
the soundtrack of the summer
was led by “Respect”.
we painted houses in Roxbury–
a student project;
hailing from Simmons and Brandeis and Harvard–
the colleges of Boston
and some from the South;
Dillard & Howard.
a conglomerate of cultures:
the beginnings of Black Power,
SDS and the Weathermen…
turning out a summer of love;
listening to Jimi Hendricks
and the all-pervasive soul offerings
on warm barefoot evenings
on Huntington Ave.
there is no one
like Aretha.
her voice
has surely reached the heavens

the strain and rasp
of a stretching soprano
with a contralto back.
she sang for my time,
for our time–
she crooned and retorted
as we wandered the mazes
of beginnings
to ends…college, marriage
birth and death…
a cycle that has led us to
another time–
a time of turmoil
and reversal;
of treachery
and hope.
and quiet summer nights
unlit by dance and music
or walks on The Fenway.
alone and contemplating
how we got
from there
to here.

Linda Tauhid

9/2/18

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