For Jonathan Green
On the last day of the world
We will walk from the sea
To the river flowing
With slow tides
We will bend over
To plant rice in water
That was here
Before we came
Touching roots
Growing beyond
We will pass
Neglected graves
Of the enslaved
The earth keeps
Their names
The way
It holds
The rain
We will dig
Through centuries
Until we find
each one
Bent to earth
Bent to water
We will plant rice
Beyond the numbers
Beyond the names


Poet Laureate of South Carolina Marjory Wentworth, is the author of four books of poetry. She is also the co-writer of We Are Charleston, Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel and Out of Wonder, Poems Celebrating Poets.

Erin Bennett Banks is a Charleston-based artist who has illustrated five children’s books recognized by The New York Times, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, and the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights. Her work can be viewed at