The blessed angels
How much like angels are these tall gladiolas in a vase on my coffee table, as if in a bunch whispering. How slender and artless, how scandalously alive, each with its own humors and pulse. Each weight- bearing stem is the stem of a thought through which aspires the blood-metal of stars. Each heart is a gift for the king. When I was a child, my mother and aunts would sit in the kitchen gossiping. One would tip her head toward me, “Little Ears,” she’d warn, and the whole room went silent. Now, before sunrise, what secrets I am told!—being quieter than blossoms and near invisible.
Copyright © 2018 by Toi Derricotte. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 8, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“In the morning I make an espresso and sit in a comfortable chair where I can see the outside. Sometimes I’m up so early I can feel the light coming. I just listen to the air. The angels are lovely creatures to talk to. Rilke also enjoyed it! Often I can’t tell the difference between my voice and theirs.”
The author of several books of poetry, Toi Derricotte is cofounder of Cave Canem, a national poetry organization committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets. She served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2012 to 2017.
Date Published: 2018-10-08
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/blessed-angels