6/19/24 Workshop – A Poem by Ross Gay

Sorrow Is Not My Name by Ross Gay

—after Gwendolyn Brooks

No matter the pull toward brink. No
matter the florid, deep sleep awaits.
There is a time for everything. Look,
just this morning a vulture
nodded his red, grizzled head at me,
and I looked at him, admiring
the sickle of his beak.
Then the wind kicked up, and,
after arranging that good suit of feathers
he up and took off.

Just like that. And to boot,
there are, on this planet alone, something like two
million naturally occurring sweet things,
some with names so generous as to kick
the steel from my knees: agave, persimmon,
stick ball, the purple okra I bought for two bucks
at the market. Think of that. The long night,
the skeleton in the mirror, the man behind me
on the bus taking notes, yeah, yeah.
But look; my niece is running through a field
calling my name. My neighbor sings like an angel
and at the end of my block is a basketball court.
I remember. My color’s green. I’m spring.

for Walter Aikens

Reflective writing prompt:
Write about what is, or is not, your name.

One thought on “6/19/24 Workshop – A Poem by Ross Gay

  1. Anita Lim

    Large swathes of it
    Overflowing, unfolding, unfailing

    Let justice roll like a never-ending stream
    So many a time thoughts swirl
    torrents of blame, criticism, guilt

    And I stumble, fall
    tripped up
    yet this I call to mind
    though the fig tree does not bud
    the pull to recriminations shall
    not have its way
    turn the tide

    joy shall have the last word
    weeping may last for the night
    But joy comes in the morning

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