Nina Simone Sings at My Funeral

Mikhayla Robinson

I don’t get flowers,

No, no, no,
no flowers for me,
Just birds unhinged
from metal bars,
like explosions in the sky,

but a Negro can’t celebrate
death.
No, but Ms. Simone sings me a good song.

They shout in the church,
Earth-shaking my grave,

Asking me to come cross the
River Jordan once more.

Momma screams, “Hallelujah, Hallelujah.”

Somebody done saved my
soul.
Sissy cusses under her breath.
Grannie rocks back and forth,

hummin’ along.
The whole church is
hollering,
screaming,
singing,
cussing,

and breathing.
They all jealous,

not even deep down,
they are jealous all over

their faces.
I’m the one that’s really singing,
“It’s a new dawn, It’s a new day.”
I’m the one that’s really

flying.

See, I’m the one

that’s really free.


Mikhayla Robinson is an Athens, Georgia poet who recently published her first chapbook, Dichotomy. Her work has been featured on Feminessay and the reproductive rights anthology, War Crimes Against the Uterus.