Monday, November 16, 2009

Poetry in the Yellow

"Poem for Some Black Women" by Carolyn M. Rodgers in How I Got Ovah: New and Selected Poems (1976)

i am lonely.
all the people i know
i know too well

there was comfort in that
at first but now
we know each others miseries
too well.
we are
lonely women, who spend time waiting for
occasional flings

we live with fear.
we are lonely.
we are talented, dedicated, well read

we are lonely.

we understand the world problems
Black women's problems with Black men
but all
we really understand is

when we laugh,
we are so happy to laugh
we cry when we laugh
we are lonely.
we are busy people
always doing things
fearing getting trapped in rooms
loud with empty...
knowing the music of silence/hating it/hoarding it
loving it/treasuring it,
it often birthing our creativity
we are lonely.

being soft and being hard
supporting our selves, earning our own bread
knowing that need must not show
will frighten away
knowing that we must
walk back-wards nonchalantly on our tip-toesssss
if only for stingy moments

we know too much
we learn to understand everything,
to make too much sense out
of the world,
of pain
of lonely...

we buy clothes, we take trips
we wish, we pray, we meditate, we curse, we crave, we coo, we caw,
we need ourselves sick, we need, we need
we lonely we grow tired of tears we grow tired of fear
we grow tired but must al-ways be soft and not too serious...
not too smart not too bitchy not too sapphire
not too dumb not too not too not too
a little less a little more
add here detract there

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