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Whose Eyes Are These?, a poem by Norbert Krapf

Whose Eyes Are These?
by Norbert Krapf

Whose eyes take me in,
in my pre-dawn study?
Where does that light in your eyes
come from, young Miss Ida?

I’m listening to a song titled
“Not Dark Yet,” but truth is,
it’s been dark a long time.
You know. You been there.

You look at me and you don’t.
You look at me, but you see
something way beyond.  Who
knows what you really see?

What you see may lie beyond you,
the history of the Pinkston Settlement
founded by your great-great-grandfather
Emanuel Pinkston, freed slave from Georgia.

One side of you was free, the other
side was a Kentucky slave. You got one
eye for each of your sides, Miss Ida.
That’s how you look at and over me

but I don’t know what you see.
Seems to me you see nothing
and everything at the same time
but I can’t see what you see in me.

Bio: Norbert Krapf, former Indiana Poet Laureate, is a Jasper, Indiana, native who lives in downtown Indianapolis. His most recent books are Catholic Boy Blues (2014) and Shrinking the Monster: Healing the Wounds of Our Abuse, a prose memoir forthcoming in fall, 2016. He held a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council Indianapolis (2011-12) and received a Glick Indiana Author Award (2014).

Editor’s note: For more information about the African American Pinkston Settlement in Dubois County, click here.