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Autobiographia

I had everything and luck: Rings of smoke
blown for me; sunlight safe inside the leaves
of cottonwoods; pure, simple harmonies
of church music, echoes of slave songs; scraps
of candy wrappers -- airborne. Everything.
Mother and father, brother, aunts, uncles;
chores and schoolwork and playtime. Everything.

I was given gloves against winter cold.
I was made to wear gloves when I gardened.
I was made to garden; taught to hold forks
in my left hand when cutting, in my right
when bringing food to my mouth. Everything.

I had clothes I was told not to wear outside;
a face you could clean up almost handsome;
I had friends to fight with and secrets, spread
all over the neighborhood; the best teachers,
white and colored. I'm not making this up.
I knew that I had everything. Still do.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003


Read poems about / on: candy, brother, food, winter, music, father, mother, teacher, friend

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Comments about this poem (The Responsibility of Love by G.E. Patterson )

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  • Captain Cur (7/6/2012 4:48:00 AM)

    An eye opener to fully appreciate what we are blessed
    with instead of complainIng about our lives! Great poem!

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Robert Combs (4/19/2007 11:10:00 AM)

    I grew up south of you in Natchez.........I had everything, too. Unfortunately, I never knew it. I just assumed. I really like your work here. thank you, Robert

  • Michael Gale (10/20/2006 9:59:00 PM)

    Great poem. It's amazing how much of every day life we may take for granted.
    An easy ten for originality and style.
    God bless all poets-MJG.

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