For Hazel Hall, American Poet
Soul-troubled at the febrile ways of breath,
Her timid breast shot through with faint alarm,
“Yes, I'm a stranger here,” she said to Death,
“It's kind of you to let me take your arm.”
This poem is in the public domain.
(For Carl Van Vechten)
Once riding in old Baltimore,
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee,
I saw a Baltimorean
Keep looking straight at me.
Now I was eight and very small,
And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
His tongue and called me, “Nigger.”
For my Grandmother
This lovely flower fell to seed;
Work gently sun and rain;
She held it as her dying creed
That she would grow again.
For John Keats, Apostle of Beauty