Saturday, November 03, 2018

You who are a bird suddenly

This is a picture of my grandson, who is all grown up now. 
I just happened to run across it 
when I was paying for my Flickr account, 
which now belongs (weirdly) to Smugmug
and where I have about 30,000 photographs. 
I fell in love with his innocent expression 
all over again.

Aracelis Girmay


Please raise your hand,
whomever else else of you
has been a child,
lost, in a market
or a mall, without
knowing it at first, following
a stranger, accidentally
thinking he is yours,
your family or parent, even
grabbing for his hands, 
even calling the word
you said then for "Father,"
only to see the face
look strangely down, utterly
foreign, utterly not the one
who loves you, you 
who are a bird suddenly
stunned by the glass partition
of rooms.
                  How far
the world you knew, & tall,
& filled, finally, with strangers.

This is the first poem in a new anthology assembled by the current US Poet Laureate, Tracy K. Smith, entitled American Journal: fifty poems for our time. I will be writing more about her soon; 
I have been very impressed by her work as Poet Laureate 
and by her recent autobiographical work, Ordinary Light.

Both the this poet and the Poet Laureate have good information posted on the Poetry Foundation website.

                      Your task for tonight 
is to write a poem beginning: 
"Please raise your hand..."

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