OTI Online
May 2008

The Poet's Eye:
Poems by Gale Jackson


Poetry Title

 

it's a full moon and who would know a young girls pain

like her own sister after the family has gathered to mourn

to eat to drink to laugh again she returns to the stoop alone

the stoop where she left them all so long ago that there are lines

she covers with make-up for eyes that never imagined not just

blinking open to each morning or that grown up living would tie

your wings she sits on the stoop looking back and out

into the future the one who was with that boy who's mother still

lives around the corner the one who back then was so in love

got pregnant and then went to the service to buy into larger

living before things got to be such a mess that she's back here

looking at the old neighborhood and the old neighbors

the park and the stoop with such soft sadness and lines

around her eyes and no sister no more to talk to.

Heart Drawing by Mary Wings by
©Mary Wings


Poetry title

 

the kids' mother died

last night

the kid's mother had

AIDS

the kid's mother was just

a kid herself

what can you say at a young woman's

funeral

that she was so alive once

she loved to dance

latin samba rumba

that you can't like crack smack

heroin

its something bout living

that hurts

like

some people feel it too

much

too sensitive

as in do not touch

or please touch

like when you dance you whirl

so much on your own

and every once in a beat

your partner catches your hands

that living is like being

an acrobat and

maybe some people can't hang with

that

maybe i don't really know

shit

but the kids mother died last night.

by Mary Wings
©Mary Wings


Gale Jackson is a poet, writer, librarian and cultural historian who received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship for her work in griot traditions and whose writing has appeared in many publications and anthologies including Callalou, African American Review, Artist and Influence and Essence. She is the author of MeDea, Suite for Mozambique, Bridge Suite: Narrative Poems, A Khoisan Tale of Beginnings and Ends, and We Stand Our Ground with Kimiko Hahn and Susan Sherman. She currently serves on the faculty of Goddard College, as poet in residence at The Secondary School for Journalism and as storyteller in residence at The Hayground School. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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