Daughter

D
The Disappearance of the Duwamish Salmon by Duane Niatum
Duane Niatum
How long have they laid buried
in the sludge and grime of industry
erasing the river's breath

and almost erasing the Duwamish people
who once paddled their canoes down
its current swift as the wing of kingfisher?

Walking beside the river in 2009 you can
still hear the dreams and laughter
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Lullaby by Bert Meyers
Bert Meyers
1963,
Cuban missile crisis Go to sleep my daughter
go to sleep my son
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Purple Anemones by D. H. Lawrence
D. H. Lawrence
Who gave us flowers?
Heaven? The white God?

Nonsense!
Up out of hell,
From Hades;
Infernal Dis!

Jesus the god of flowers—?
Not he.
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Orfeo by Frank Lima
Frank Lima
To my friends Each hair is a poem I gave my son
Each hair is my allowance from the universe
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Le sporting-club de Monte Carlo (for Lena Horne) by James Baldwin
James Baldwin
The lady is a tramp
a camp
a lamp

The lady is a sight
a might
a light
the lady devastated
an alley or two
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The Sleep-Walkers by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
In the town where I was born lived a woman and her daughter, who
walked in their sleep.

One night, while silence enfolded the world, the woman and her
daughter, walking, yet asleep, met in their mist-veiled garden.

And the mother spoke, and she said: “At last, at last, my enemy!
You by whom my youth was destroyed—who have built up your life
upon the ruins of mine! Would I could kill you!”

And the daughter spoke, and she said: “O hateful woman, selfish
and old! Who stand between my freer self and me! Who would have
my life an echo of your own faded life! Would you were dead!”

At that moment a cock crew, and both women awoke. The mother said
gently, “Is that you, darling?” And the daughter answered gently,
“Yes, dear.”
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One Train May Hide Another by Kenneth Koch
Kenneth Koch
(sign at a railroad crossing in Kenya) In a poem, one line may hide another line,
As at a crossing, one train may hide another train.
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Exodus by George Oppen
George Oppen
Miracle of the children the brilliant
Children the word
Liquid as woodlands Children?

When she was a child I read Exodus
To my daughter 'The children of Israel. . .'

Pillar of fire
Pillar of cloud

We stared at the end
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The Wish, By a Young Lady by Laetitia Pilkington
Laetitia Pilkington
I ask not wit, nor beauty do I crave,
Nor wealth, nor pompous titles wish to have;
But since, 'tis doomed through all degrees of life,
Whether a daughter, sister, or a wife;
That females should the stronger males obey,
And yield implicit to their lordly sway;
Since this, I say, is ev'ry woman's fate,
Give me a mind to suit my slavish state.
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Elizabethan by Linda Pastan
Linda Pastan
Some gentler passion slide into my mind,
For I am soft and made of melting snow
—Queen Elizabeth I
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The Watchers by William Stanley Braithwaite
William Stanley Braithwaite
Two women on the lone wet strand
(The wind's out with a will to roam)
The waves wage war on rocks and sand,
(And a ship is long due home.)

The sea sprays in the women's eyes—
(Hearts can writhe like the sea's wild foam)
Lower descend the tempestuous skies,
(For the wind's out with a will to roam.)

"O daughter, thine eyes be better than mine,"
(The waves ascend high as yonder dome)
"North or south is there never a sign?"
(And a ship is long due home.)

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poem in praise of menstruation by Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
if there is a river
more beautiful than this
bright as the blood
red edge of the moon if

there is a river
more faithful than this
returning each month
to the same delta if there
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The Librarian by Charles Olson
Charles Olson
The landscape (the landscape!) again: Gloucester,
the shore one of me is (duplicates), and from which
(from offshore, I, Maximus) am removed, observe.

In this night I moved on the territory with combinations
(new mixtures) of old and known personages: the leader,
my father, in an old guise, here selling books and manuscripts.

My thought was, as I looked in the window of his shop,
there should be materials here for Maximus, when, then,
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Lotem Abdel Shafi by Aharon Shabtai
Aharon Shabtai
The heart dies without space for love, without a moral horizon:
think of it then as a bird trapped in a box.
My heart goes out with love to those beyond the fence;
only toward them can one really advance, that is, make progress.
Without them I feel I’m half a person.
Romeo was born a Montague, and Juliet came from the Capulet line,
and I’m a disciple of Shakespeare, not Ben Gurion—
therefore I’ll be delighted if my daughter marries the grandson of Haidar Abdel Shafi.
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Herr Stimmung on Transparency by Keith Waldrop
Keith Waldrop
To those of a certain temperament, there is nothing worse than the
thought of something hidden, secret, withheld from their knowing—
especially if they suspect that another knows about it and has even,
perhaps, connived at keeping it concealed.

D. H. Lawrence seems to have been irritated no end by the thought
that people were having sex and not telling him.

Freud too.

—Ah but then Freud arranged it so that everyone had to tell.
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Kin 2 by Michael S. Harper
Michael S. Harper
When news came that your mother’d
smashed her hip, both feet caught
in rungs of the banquet table,
our wedding rebroken on the memory
of the long lake of silence
when the stones of her body
broke as an Irish fence of stones,
I saw your wet dugs drag
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A Winter Song by Jean Ingelow
Jean Ingelow
Came the dread Archer up yonder lawn —
Night is the time for the old to die —
But woe for an arrow that smote the fawn,
When the hind that was sick unscathed went by.

Father lay moaning, Her fault was sore
(Night is the time when the old must die),
Yet, ah to bless her, my child, once more,
For heart is failing: the end is nigh.

Daughter, my daughter, my girl, I cried
(Night is the time for the old to die)
Woe for the wish if till morn ye bide —
Dark was the welkin and wild the sky.

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The Golden Schlemiel by Irving Feldman
Irving Feldman
So there’s a cabbie in Cairo named Deif.
So he found 5,000 bucks in the back seat.
So meanwhile his daughter was very sick.
So he needed the money for medicine bad.
So never mind.
So he looked for the fare and gave it back.
So then the kid died.
So they fired him for doing good deeds on company time.
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The Mother’s Charge by Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
She raised her head. With hot and glittering eye,
‘I know,’ she said, ‘that I am going to die.
Come here, my daughter, while my mind is clear.
Let me make plain to you your duty here;
My duty once — I never failed to try—
But for some reason I am going to die.’
She raised her head, and, while her eyes rolled wild,
Poured these instructions on the gasping child:

‘Begin at once — don’t iron sitting down—
Wash your potatoes when the fat is brown—
Monday, unless it rains — it always pays
To get fall sewing done on the right days—
A carpet-sweeper and a little broom—
Save dishes — wash the summer dining-room
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A Deserter by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
Their new landlord was a handsome man. On his rounds to
collect rent she became friendly.
Finally, she asked him in to have a cup of tea. After that he
came often.

Once his mouth jerked, and turning, she saw her husband in
the doorway.
She thought, One of the neighbors must have told him.
She smiled and opened her mouth to speak, but could say
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He Lived—Childhood Summers by Lorine Niedecker
Lorine Niedecker
He lived—childhood summers
thru bare feet
then years of money’s lack
and heat

beside the river—out of flood
came his wood, dog,
woman, lost her, daughter—
prologue
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from By the Well of Living and Seeing, Part II, Section 1: “Leaving the beach on a Sunday in a streetcar” by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
Leaving the beach on a Sunday in a streetcar
a family of three—mother, son and daughter:
the mother, well on in the thirties, blond hair, worried face;
the son, twelve years of age or so, seated opposite,
and the daughter, about eight or nine, beside her.
The boy was blond, too; a good-looking little fellow
with dreamy eyes. The little girl was quite plain;
mouth pulled down at the corners,
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No Classes! by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
No classes here! Why, that is idle talk.
The village beau sneers at the country boor;
The importuning mendicants who walk
Our cites’ streets despise the parish poor.

The daily toiler at some noisy loom
Holds back her garments from the kitchen aid.
Meanwhile the latter leans upon her broom,
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Slave Sale: New Orleans by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
To begin with, the slaves had to wash themselves well,
and the men who had beards had to shave them off;
the men were then given a new suit each,
cheap but clean, and a hat, shirt, and shoes;
and the women were each given a frock of calico
and a handkerchief to tie about their heads.
They were then led by the man selling them into a large room;
the men placed on one side, the women at the other;
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Thomas Jefferson by Lorine Niedecker
Lorine Niedecker
I
My wife is ill!
And I sit
waiting
for a quorum


II
Fast ride
his horse collapsed
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Between by Marie Ponsot
Marie Ponsot
(for my daughter) Composed in a shine of laughing, Monique brings in sacks
of groceries, unloads them, straightens, and stretches her back.

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The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee by N. Scott Momaday
N. Scott Momaday
I am a feather on the bright sky
I am the blue horse that runs in the plain
I am the fish that rolls, shining, in the water
I am the shadow that follows a child
I am the evening light, the lustre of meadows
I am an eagle playing with the wind
I am a cluster of bright beads
I am the farthest star
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The Doubt of Future Foes by Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Elizabeth I
The doubt of future foes exiles my present joy,
And wit me warns to shun such snares as threaten mine annoy;
For falsehood now doth flow, and subjects’ faith doth ebb,
Which should not be if reason ruled or wisdom weaved the web.
But clouds of joys untried do cloak aspiring minds,
Which turn to rain of late repent by changed course of winds.
The top of hope supposed the root upreared shall be,
And fruitless all their grafted guile, as shortly ye shall see.
The dazzled eyes with pride, which great ambition blinds,
Shall be unsealed by worthy wights whose foresight falsehood finds.
The daughter of debate that discord aye doth sow
Shall reap no gain where former rule still peace hath taught to know.
No foreign banished wight shall anchor in this port;
Our realm brooks not seditious sects, let them elsewhere resort.
My rusty sword through rest shall first his edge employ
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Dreamwork Three by Jerome Rothenberg
Jerome Rothenberg
a trembling old man dreams of a chinese garden
a comical old man dreams of newspapers under his rabbi's hat



a simple tavernkeeper dreams of icicles & fisheyes
a sinister tavernkeeper dreams of puddles with an angel of the law in every drop



the furrier's plump daughter is dreaming of a patch of old vanilla
the furrier's foreign daughter is dreaming of a hat from which a marten hangs



the proud accountant dreams of a trolleycar over the frozen river
the reluctant accountant dreams of his feet sleep in a fresh pair of red socks
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For My Daughter by Weldon Kees
Weldon Kees
Looking into my daughter’s eyes I read
Beneath the innocence of morning flesh
Concealed, hintings of death she does not heed.
Coldest of winds have blown this hair, and mesh
Of seaweed snarled these miniatures of hands;
The night’s slow poison, tolerant and bland,
Has moved her blood. Parched years that I have seen
That may be hers appear: foul, lingering
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Helen by H.D.
H.D.
All Greece hates
the still eyes in the white face,
the lustre as of olives
where she stands,
and the white hands.

All Greece reviles
the wan face when she smiles,
hating it deeper still
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i can't stay in the same room with that woman for five minutes by Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski
I went over the other day
to pick up my daughter.
her mother came out with workman’s
overalls on.
I gave her the child support money
and she laid a sheaf of poems on me by one
Manfred Anderson.
I read them.
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jasper texas 1998 by Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
for j. byrd i am a man's head hunched in the road.
i was chosen to speak by the members
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La Belle Juive by Henry Timrod
Henry Timrod
Is it because your sable hair
Is folded over brows that wear
At times a too imperial air;

Or is it that the thoughts which rise
In those dark orbs do seek disguise
Beneath the lids of Eastern eyes;
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The Love Letters of Helen Pitts Douglass by Michael S. Harper
Michael S. Harper
When I stood behind his desk chair
and when he sat, on rare occasions,
on the porch, “sage of Anacostia,”
they called him, I smelled his mane
glorious, and as a hand saddle
the aroma of hair took me to neckline
and below. In Egypt, long after
Napoleon had shot off the face
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The Miller's Daughter by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
It is the miller’s daughter,
And she is grown so dear, so dear,
That I would be the jewel
That trembles at her ear:
For hid in ringlets day and night,
I’d touch her neck so warm and white.

And I would be the girdle
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The Mothering Blackness by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou
She came home running
back to the mothering blackness
deep in the smothering blackness
white tears icicle gold plains of her face
She came home running

She came down creeping
here to the black arms waiting
now to the warm heart waiting
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My Life by Mark Strand
Mark Strand
The huge doll of my body
refuses to rise.
I am the toy of women.
My mother

would prop me up for her friends.
“Talk, talk,” she would beg.
I moved my mouth
but words did not come.
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Negroes by Charles Reznikoff
Charles Reznikoff
1

One night in April or May,
his daughter saw someone's hand
make the curtain which was drawn tightly across her window bulge
and ran to the adjoining room in her night clothes
where he and his son were sitting.
He ran around the house one way
and his son ran the other way
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On My First Daughter by Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
Here lies, to each her parents’ ruth,
Mary, the daughter of their youth;
Yet all heaven’s gifts being heaven’s due,
It makes the father less to rue.
At six months’ end she parted hence
With safety of her innocence;
Whose soul heaven’s queen, whose name she bears,
In comfort of her mother’s tears,
Hath placed amongst her virgin-train:
Where, while that severed doth remain,
This grave partakes the fleshly birth;
Which cover lightly, gentle earth!
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Praise by Stanley Moss
Stanley Moss
for Yehuda Amichai 1.

Snow clouds shadow the bay, on the ice the odd fallen gull.
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Shakesperian Readings by Phoebe Cary
Phoebe Cary
Oh, but to fade, and live we know not where,
To be a cold obstruction and to groan!
This sensible, warm woman to become
A prudish clod; and the delighted spirit
To live and die alone, or to reside
With married sisters, and to have the care
Of half a dozen children, not your own;
And driven, for no one wants you,
Round the pendant world; or worse than worse
Of those that disappointment and pure spite
Have driven to madness: ’Tis too horrible!
The weariest and most troubled married life
That age, ache, penury, or jealousy
Can lay on nature, is a paradise
To being an old maid.
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Sonnet To Science by Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet’s heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise,
Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car,
And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?

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To My Daughter in a Red Coat by Anne Stevenson
Anne Stevenson
Late October. It is afternoon.
My daughter and I walk through the leaf-strewn
Corridors of the park
In the light and the dark
Of the elms' thin arches.

Around us brown leaves fall and spread.
Small winds stir the minor dead.
Dust powders the air.
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Veteran’s Hospital by Ben Belitt
Ben Belitt
(White River Junction, Vermont) Bringing “only what is needed—essential
toilet articles” in a paper bag,
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Waving Goodbye by Gerald Stern
Gerald Stern
I wanted to know what it was like before we
had voices and before we had bare fingers and before we
had minds to move us through our actions
and tears to help us over our feelings,
so I drove my daughter through the snow to meet her friend
and filled her car with suitcases and hugged her
as an animal would, pressing my forehead against her,
walking in circles, moaning, touching her cheek,
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The Rape of Europa by Ovid
Ovid
From "Metamorphoses," Book II, 846-875 Majesty is incompatible truly with love; they cohabit
Nowhere together. The father and chief of the gods, whose right hand is
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At the San Francisco Airport by Yvor Winters
Yvor Winters
To my daughter, 1954 This is the terminal: the light
Gives perfect vision, false and hard;
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Birdcage Walk by Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton
1

One royal afternoon
When I was young and easily surprised
By uncles coming from the park
At the command of nurses and of guards,

I wondered, over trees and ponds,
At the sorry, rude walls
And the white windows of the apartments.
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Dedication for a Plot of Ground by William Carlos Williams
William Carlos Williams
This plot of ground
facing the waters of this inlet
is dedicated to the living presence of
Emily Dickinson Wellcome
who was born in England; married;
lost her husband and with
her five year old son
sailed for New York in a two-master;
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Evening News II by David Ferry
David Ferry
The face looking into the room;
Behind it light, shaking, like heat
Lightning; the face calm and knowing;
Seeing, but not seeing who I am;
The mouth may be telling something.

Something about our helplessness;
Something about the confusions of beasts;
The consequence of error; systems
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For Instance by John Ciardi
John Ciardi
A boy came up the street and there was a girl.
"Hello," they said in passing, then didn’t pass.
They began to imagine. They imagined all night
and woke imagining what the other imagined.
Later they woke with no need to imagine.
They were together. They kept waking together.
Once they woke a daughter who got up
and went looking for something without looking back.
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From the House of Yemanjá by Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde
My mother had two faces and a frying pot
where she cooked up her daughters
into girls
before she fixed our dinner.
My mother had two faces
and a broken pot
where she hid out a perfect daughter
who was not me
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Fruit-gathering LV by Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore

Tulsidas, the poet, was wandering, deep in thought, by the Ganges, in that lonely spot where they burn their dead.
He found a woman sitting at the feet of the corpse of her dead husband, gaily dressed as for a wedding.
She rose as she saw him, bowed to him, and said, "Permit me, Master, with your blessing, to follow my husband to heaven."
"Why such hurry, my daughter?" asked Tulsidas. "Is not this earth also His who made heaven?"
"For heaven I do not long," said the woman. "I want my husband."
Tulsidas smiled and said to her, "Go back to your home, my child. Before the month is over you will find your husband."
The woman went back with glad hope. Tulsidas came to her every day and gave her high thoughts to think, till her heart was filled to the brim with divine love.
When the month was scarcely over, her neighbours came to her, asking, "Woman, have you found your husband?"
The widow smiled and said, "I have."
Eagerly they asked, "Where is he?"
"In my heart is my lord, one with me," said the woman.

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The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes
Alfred Noyes
PART ONE

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
Riding—riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

He’d a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
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In Order To by Kenneth Patchen
Kenneth Patchen
Apply for the position (I've forgotten now for what) I had
to marry the Second Mayor's daughter by twelve noon. The
order arrived three minutes of.

I already had a wife; the Second Mayor was childless: but I
did it.

Next they told me to shave off my father's beard. All right.
No matter that he'd been a eunuch, and had succumbed in
early childhood: I did it, I shaved him.
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Jazz Station by Michael S. Harper
Michael S. Harper
for sandy and henry carlile

Some great musicians got no place to play Above the freeway, over the music,
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Jessie Mitchell’s Mother by Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks
Into her mother’s bedroom to wash the ballooning body.
“My mother is jelly-hearted and she has a brain of jelly:
Sweet, quiver-soft, irrelevant. Not essential.
Only a habit would cry if she should die.
A pleasant sort of fool without the least iron. . . .
Are you better, mother, do you think it will come today?”
The stretched yellow rag that was Jessie Mitchell’s mother
Reviewed her. Young, and so thin, and so straight.
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Maternal by Gail Mazur
Gail Mazur
On the telephone, friends mistake us now
when we first say hello—not after.
And that oddly optimistic lilt
we share nourishes my hopes:
we do sound happy. . . .

Last night, in my dream’s crib,
a one-day infant girl.
I wasn’t totally unprepared—
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Maybe It’s Only the Monotony by Gail Mazur
Gail Mazur
of these long scorching days
but today my daughter
is truly exasperating—
Stop it! I shout—or I’ll—
and I twist her little pinked arm
slowly,
calibrating my ferocity—

You can’t hurt me you can’t hurt me!
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the message of crazy horse by Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
i would sit in the center of the world,
the Black Hills hooped around me and
dream of my dancing horse. my wife

was Black Shawl who gave me the daughter
i called They Are Afraid Of Her.
i was afraid of nothing

except Black Buffalo Woman.
my love for her i wore
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from Of Being Numerous by George Oppen
George Oppen
9

‘Whether, as the intensity of seeing increases, one’s distance from Them, the people, does not also increase’
I know, of course I know, I can enter no other place

Yet I am one of those who from nothing but man’s way of thought and one of his dialects and what has happened to me
Have made poetry

To dream of that beach
For the sake of an instant in the eyes,

The absolute singular
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Portrait from the Infantry by Alan Dugan
Alan Dugan
He smelled bad and was red-eyed with the miseries
of being scared while sleepless when he said
this: “I want a private woman, peace and quiet,
and some green stuff in my pocket. Fuck
the rest.” Pity the underwear and socks,
long burnt, of an accomplished murderer,
oh God, of germans and replacements, who
refused three stripes to keep his B.A.R.,
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Proust’s Madeleine by Kenneth Rexroth
Kenneth Rexroth
Somebody has given my
Baby daughter a box of
Old poker chips to play with.
Today she hands me one while
I am sitting with my tired
Brain at my desk. It is red.
On it is a picture of
An elk’s head and the letters
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Pullman Porter by Robert W. Service
Robert W. Service
The porter in the Pullman car
Was charming, as they sometimes are.
He scanned my baggage tags: “Are you
The man who wrote of Lady Lou?”
When I said “yes” he made a fuss —
Oh, he was most assiduous;
And I was pleased to think that he
Enjoyed my brand of poetry.
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To a Gentleman and Lady on the Death of the Lady's Brother and Sister, and a Child of the Name Avis, Aged One Year by Phillis Wheatley
Phillis Wheatley
On Death's domain intent I fix my eyes,
Where human nature in vast ruin lies,
With pensive mind I search the drear abode,
Where the great conqu'ror has his spoils bestow'd;
There there the offspring of six thousand years
In endless numbers to my view appears:
Whole kingdoms in his gloomy den are thrust,
And nations mix with their primeval dust:
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Untitled Poem “Why feel guilty because the death of a lover causes lust?” by Alan Dugan
Alan Dugan
Why feel guilty because the death of a lover causes lust?
It is only an animal urge to perpetuate the species,
but if I do not inhibit my imagination and dreams
I can see your skull smiling up at me from underground
and your bones loosely arranged in the missionary position.
This is not an incapacitating vision except at night,
and not a will of constancy, nor an irrevocable trust,
so I take on a woman with a mouth like an open wound.
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the vacant lot by Gwendolyn Brooks
Gwendolyn Brooks
Mrs. Coley’s three-flat brick
Isn’t here any more.
All done with seeing her fat little form
Burst out of the basement door;
And with seeing her African son-in-law
(Rightful heir to the throne)
With his great white strong cold squares of teeth
And his little eyes of stone;
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The Wheel Revolves by Kenneth Rexroth
Kenneth Rexroth
You were a girl of satin and gauze
Now you are my mountain and waterfall companion.
Long ago I read those lines of Po Chu I
Written in his middle age.
Young as I was they touched me.
I never thought in my own middle age
I would have a beautiful young dancer
To wander with me by falling crystal waters,
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