Monday, February 23, 2009

In this photo

I am too young
and too tired
to notice
the lace curtains hanging
on the windows behind us.
The ones we would wash every year
and hang on the line, leaving
the tub full of dingy water.

I am too young
and too hungry
to notice
the cross of St. Brigid on the door
where it still hangs
and the rocking chair in the corner
where it still sits.

I am too young
and too happy
to know
that one day I would nurse you
administer breathing treatments
and feeding tubes
spend hot summer nights at your bedside.

I want to wake
the infant in
this photo
and tell her to remember
the man holding her,
just as he is there,
in flannel and suspenders
thick glasses and white hair.

Monday, February 16, 2009

AWP Chicago 2009

I have just returned from a long weekend in my favorite city.
AWP conference went really well, there were some amazing authors there and I attended some interesting panels. 
One was on the Poetry Everywhere program that attempts to unite poetry and film.
Some of the animations are done really well, most of them I actually disliked. 
However, it is wonderful to hear authors read their poems aloud.
Check it out ---> Poetry Everywhere: PBS

The highlight of the conference was the reading in honor of Gwendolyn Brooks on Friday evening. Major Jackson and Lucille Clifton spoke about Brooks as a poet and a woman and read some of her poems aloud. Really inspiring. 
It was also great to be in my favorite city and meet up with old friends. Wonderful to see Konrad and Michelle and Luke.

Missing the Windy City already. 

Monday, February 9, 2009

Inaugural Poem

The last time
I believed
like this
I was a small girl
celebrating African American History Month
in a February classroom.
When the two or three black
students at the miniature Catholic
school were
singled out.

We were an inaccurate scale
model of the real world.
A microcosm of
privileged kids
and strictly
monitored hem lengths.

I understood
that dream
from the famous speech
by a black man.
And it was mine
as well.
And the last time I believed
like this
I was a small girl.