Slave Collar

Johnny Cash once sent me an old slave collar from Jamaica.  It hangs over my desk.

It hangs there
like an evil thing,
this curve of iron
that round some slave’s neck
curled and snapped . . .
the slave long past,
his collar worn rib-thin,
rigid in rust
as if at last
its own rigor mortis
had set in.

Ruth Bell Graham

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