by Hess Love
Back then, Grandmothers ruled the drum Nurturing hands could conjure a beat Thump, on the flat of a serving board Thump, the pound of a mortar and pestle Thump, in the womb of a mixing bowl Thump, the bass of authority in her voice You moved to those sonic commands Your belly in motion before your legs A dance for her Those be the sounds and depth of life Songs Made in the nooks and crannies of the domestic A fugitive hymn Found home in the hearth Rest, right after the beat Breathe, right after the song Eat, right after she cooks the meat of the drum
Hess Love is a lay archivist, ethnoecologist, storyteller, healing artist and poet. They are currently an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at Wilkes University and pursuing certification as a Master Naturalist. As a co-founder of the Chesapeake Conjure Society, Hess’ creative and community work as a Hoodoo historian lives at the crossroads of culture and environment. Their creative and advocacy work is rooted in advocating for communal ways of knowing from systemically discredited people through material mutual aid, spiritual liberation praxis, heritage preservation, cosmovision, and place-based practices in the Chesapeake Bay area.