Thoughtful Thursday: Poetry For Pride Month

Thoughtful Thursday: Poetry For Pride Month

In celebration of Pride Month, today’s Thoughtful Thursday features works by LBGTQ poets.  Some of these poets have been featured in many Thoughtful Thursdays, like June Jordan (1936-2002) and Audrey Lorde (1934-1992), and others, like E. Ethelbert Miller (b. 1950) and Blas Falconer, are new to these pages.

The voice of the other, the ones less heard, is strong in all of these poems.  Read and discuss them with your children.  Happy Pride Month! Enjoy.

 

Calling on All Silent Minorities

HEY

C’MON
COME OUT

WHEREVER YOU ARE

WE NEED TO HAVE THIS MEETING
AT THIS TREE

AIN’ EVEN BEEN
PLANTED
YET

June Jordan

 

Looking for Omar

I’m in the school bathroom
washing my hands without
soap but I’m still washing my hands.

I turn the water off
and look for a paper towel
but paper towels have been gone
since the first day of school
and it’s June now.

I start to leave the bathroom
with my wet hands but then
the big boys come in talking
loud and cussing like they
rap stars or have new sneakers.

I hear the one named Pinto
talking about how someone
should get Omar after school
since he’s the only Muslim they know.

Pinto talks with an accent
like he’s new in the neighborhood too.

I don’t have to ask him
what he’s talking about
since everybody is talking
about the Towers and how they
ain’t there no more.

My momma said it’s like
a woman losing both
breasts to cancer and my daddy
was talking at the dinner table
about how senseless violence is
and Mrs. Gardner next door lost
two tall boys to drive-bys

Bullets flying into
both boys heads
making them crumble too.

Everybody around here is
filled with fear and craziness
and now Pinto and the big boys
thinking about doing something bad.

I stare at my wet hands
dripping water on my shoes
and wonder if I should run
and tell Omar or just run.

I feel like I’m trapped
in the middle of one of those
Bible stories but it ain’t
Sunday.

I hear my Momma’s voice
saying

Boy, always remember to wash
your hands but always remember
you can’t wash your hands from
everything.

E. Ethelbert Miller

My Son Wants to Know Who His Biological Father Is

My son wants to know
his name. What does he look like? What does
he like? My son swims
four days a week. When my son swims
underwater, he glides
between strokes. When he glides underwater, he is
an arrow aimed
at a wall. Four days a week, his coach says,
Count—1…2…—before
coming up for air.

My father had blue eyes, blonde hair,
though mine are brown.
My father could not speak
Spanish and wondered, How can you love
another man? 
We rarely touched.
When my son
is counting, I count
with him. I say, I am
your father, too. 1…2…

Blas Falconer

<The Black Unicorn

The black unicorn is greedy.
The black unicorn is impatient.
The black unicorn was mistaken
for a shadow or symbol
and taken
through a cold country
where mist painted mockeries
of my fury.
It is not on her lap where the horn rests
but deep in her moonpit
growing.
The black unicorn is restless
the black unicorn is unrelenting
the black unicorn is not
free.

Audrey Lorde

A Short Note to My Very Critical and Well Behaved Friends and Comrades

First they said I was too light

Then they said I was too dark

Then they said I was too different

Then they said I was too much the same

Then they said I was too young

Then they said I was too old

Then they said I was too interracial

Then they said I was too much a nationalist

Then they said I was too silly

Then they said I was too angry

Then they said I was too idealistic

Then they said I was too confusing altogether:

Make up your mind! They said. Are you militant

or sweet? Are you vegetarian or meat? Are you straight

or are you gay?

 

And I said, Hey! It’s not about my mind.

 

June Jordan

 

 

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