To Robert Duncan and Gwendolyn Brooks


I was suffocating in the windowless towers
of my everydayness.
Things were literary the same - my cat, flowers,
a bit of writing I can be proud about sometimes
and a deep purple shadow of my long life.

She was standing behind every little attempt
to learn a new thing or simply to breathe
“What for?” She would repeat,
“At your age you will be gone soon
to the land where I am from
where nobody cares if you learn or you don’t.”

Every dream turning in a nightmare
she was not only annoying but unbearable.
I had grown tired of her. I asked her to leave
and slept through the afternoon like a newborn thief.

Dropping away from my memories
as if I were only a seed of myself
unawakend, unwilling to sleep or wake,
becoming a library tree
with my roots deep in the shelves
among poetry books
I was reading a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks
and woke up liberated and new.

It was A Song in the Front Yard.
I’ll tell you how it starts.

I’ve stayed in the front yard all my life.
I want a peek at the back
Where it’s rough and untended and hungry weed grows.
A girl gets sick of a rose.

That is how it starts
and doesn’t really matter where it goes
I woke up being sick of a rose.

IRiz March 2017
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