Sunday, October 12, 2008

Being Gwendolyn Brooks

When You Have Forgotten Sunday: The Love Story

—And when you have forgotten the bright bedclothes on a Wednesday and a Saturday,
And most especially when you have forgotten Sunday—
When you have forgotten Sunday halves in bed,
Or me sitting on the front-room radiator in the limping afternoon
Looking off down the long street
To nowhere,
Hugged by my plain old wrapper of no-expectation
And nothing-I-have-to-do and I’m-happy-why?
And if-Monday-never-had-to-come—
When you have forgotten that, I say,
And how you swore, if somebody beeped the bell,
And how my heart played hopscotch if the telephone rang;
And how we finally went in to Sunday dinner,
That is to say, went across the front room floor to the ink-spotted table in the southwest corner
To Sunday dinner, which was always chicken and noodles
Or chicken and rice
And salad and rye bread and tea
And chocolate chip cookies—
I say, when you have forgotten that,
When you have forgotten my little presentiment
That the war would be over before they got to you;
And how we finally undressed and whipped out the light and flowed into bed,
And lay loose-limbed for a moment in the week-end
Bright bedclothes,
Then gently folded into each other—
When you have, I say, forgotten all that,
Then you may tell,
Then I may believe
You have forgotten me well.

--Gwendolyn Brooks

It is with great respect and appreciation that I include the work of Gwendolyn Brooks on my blog. It was in high school that I came across her poetry. When I was a sophomore at Michigan my brother Chris came to pick me up from Ann Arbor to go to the main Detroit Public library to hear her poetry reading. Afterwards, I stood in line for her to sign my book overcome with tears. She slipped me her address and said, "write to me." That gesture began a great correspondence.

I am most appreciative that Ms. Brooks, an acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winner, took the time to write to me. Her compassion springs forth through me as I take time and find ways of communicating with young people everywhere with or without their solicitation. I am always available, if only to give give a word of encouragement.

Gwendolyn Brooks is honored here for her life and work.

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