Oct/Nov 2000 Poetry

Two Poems

by Bonny Grabowski


When I Say Black or White

Black girls jump & their heads
go clack-clack and the white
girls' go swish, swish just like
the white rope.

Black girls sway from hip
to hip while they shout
loud, round words and the white
girls strain their necks to push
long, thin ones out.

White girls burn red
with embarrassments. Black girls cock
their heads and ramble
them away with streams
of backwards sounds.

White girls say please & thank-you
like a religion. Black girls take
what they want with rough,
grabby hands.

Black girls turn
white in
the winter
white girls turn
brown in
the sun.


Sweet Balmy Nights

Rockets of deep lavender and spicy pink
shoot forth from cannons, fluffy white
and in this sky birds fly near the brink
where helpless dawn is swallowed by the night.

Now evening glows with light, bruised deep blue
and its cooling winds swoop through grand boughs.
Blanketed movements keep hidden its pursuit,
as it halts signs of growing and farmers' plows.

Fallen fully upon us, we bask in weighty sleep,
until twilight folds it back into faint orange light.
Under the cool white stars and sheets I'd like to keep
when ahead the yellow day seems violently bright.

But out we all creep into our roaring routines,
as we look ahead to cozy, dampening dreams.


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