Friday, March 15, 2013

Poem of the Week: Jericho Brown

                
Jericho Brown   


'N'em  
 
They said to say goodnight
And not goodbye, unplugged
The TV when it rained. They hid
Money in mattresses
So to sleep on decisions.
Some of their children
Were not their children. Some
Of their parents had no birthdates.
They could sweat a cold out
Of you. They'd wake without
An alarm telling them to.
Even the short ones reached
Certain shelves. Even the skinny
Cooked animals too quick
To get caught. And I don't care
How ugly one of them arrived,
That one got married
To somebody fine. They fed
Families with change and wiped
Their kitchens clean.
Then another century came.
People like me forgot their names. 


-Jericho Brown 

Used by permission.


Jericho Brown was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and once worked as the speechwriter for the Mayor of New Orleans. The recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, Brown is an Assistant Professor at Emory University. His poems have appeared in journals and anthologies including The American Poetry ReviewjubilatOxford AmericanPloughsharesTin House, The Best American Poetry, and 100 Best African American Poems. His first book, PLEASE, won the American Book Award.

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1 comment:

Tamara said...

I absolutely love this poem. I remember the first time I ever read it. It is tender and aching in such vulnerable, wrinkled places. It made me think of the very first place I called "home."