Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


To Prisoners

I call for you cultivation of strength in the dark.
Dark gardening
in the vertigo cold.
in the hot paralysis.
Under the wolves and coyotes of particular silences.
Where it is dry.
Where it is dry.
I call for you
cultivation of victory Over
long blows that you want to give and blows you are going to get.

Over
what wants to crumble you down, to sicken
you. I call for you
cultivation of strength to heal and enhance
in the non-cheering dark,
in the many many mornings-after;
in the chalk and choke.

Credit


From To Disembark (Third World Press, 1981). Copyright © 1981 by Gwendolyn Brooks. Reprinted by consent of Brooks Permissions.

Author


Gwendolyn Brooks

Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks, who wrote more than twenty books of poetry in her lifetime, was the first black woman appointed Poet Laureate of the United States.

Date Published: 2018-04-10

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/prisoners-0