Nikki Giovanni

(June 7, 1943 / Knoxville, Tennessee)

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Balances


In life
one is always
balancing

like we juggle our mothers
against our fathers

or one teacher
against another
(only to balance our grade average)

3 grains of salt
to one ounce truth

our sweet black essence
or the funky honkies down the street

and lately i've begun wondering
if you're trying to tell me something

we used to talk all night
and do things alone together

and i've begun

(as a reaction to a feeling)
to balance
the pleasure of loneliness
against the pain
of loving you

Submitted: Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Edited: Thursday, September 12, 2013

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Comments about this poem (Balances by Nikki Giovanni )

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  • Michelle Claus (9/12/2014 4:33:00 PM)

    Wow! I love this. I admire the various examples of balance-maneuvers... ultimately using balance as a psychological defense against relational insecurity - stroke of brilliance. I'm feeling inspired. (Report) Reply

  • Terry Craddock (9/12/2014 3:55:00 AM)

    Life has various checks balances, beware false weights false values, and truly valuable assets experiences friends, not valued wisely; not appreciated until lost 10+ (Report) Reply

  • Chris Mendros (3/21/2007 4:59:00 PM)

    this is insanely beautiful in its simplicity. That old classic profit/loss consideration of a relationship, quietly slipped into her environment. (Report) Reply

  • Natasha Ashwe (7/25/2006 8:25:00 AM)

    Balancing, making choices, one over the other, what this life is about. The last part gave me a chill. It's so sad when the person you love chooses to become a wrong one.
    This poem is more sensible than lovely, more wise than beautiful. It's a dart that goes straight to the heart. (Report) Reply

Read all 11 comments »

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