Rita Dove: Wingfoot Lake, Ohio
from “Wingfoot Lake (Independence Day, 1964)”
…like Joanna saying
Mother, we’re Afro-Americans now!
What did she know about Africa?
Were there lakes like this one
with a rowboat pushed under the pier?
Or Thomas’ Great Mississippi
with its sullen silks? (There was
the Nile but the Nile belonged
to God.) Where she came from
was the past, 12 miles into town
where nobody had locked their back door,
and Goodyear hadn’t begun to dream of a park
under the company symbol, a white foot
sprouting two small wings.