Monday, April 8, 2019

"'N'em" by Jericho Brown

In honor of National Poetry Month, I am featuring special poems by special poets each Monday. Here is an absolutely beautiful poem about integrity, dignity, love, family, and community by the amazingly talented Jericho Brown.

By Jericho Brown

They said to say goodnight
And not goodbye, unplugged
The TV when it rained. They hid
Money in mattresses
So to sleep on decision.
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 catch. 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.

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