They told my cousin Rowena not to marry
Calvin―she was too young, just eighteen,
& he was too dark, too too dark, as if he
had been washed in what we wanted
to wipe off our hands. Besides, he didn't come
from a good family. He said he was going
to be a lawyer, but we didn't quite believe.
The night they eloped to the Gotham Hotel,
the whole house whispered―as if we were ashamed
to tell it to ourselves. My aunt and uncle
rushed down to the Gotham to plead―
we couldn't imagine his hands on her!
Families are conceived in many ways.
The night my cousin Calvin lay
down on her, that idol with its gold skin
broke, & many of the gods we loved
in secret were freed.
—from Tender 1997
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Family Secrets by Toi Derricotte )
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Still I Rise
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
William Ernest Henley
- essay # i'll never know, gordon nosworthy
- I See The Sun, Pijush Biswas
- Variety of doors!, Dr.V.K. Kanniappan
- What is superior?, gajanan mishra
- Mind, Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
- WE ARE TEMPORARILY HERE, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- Waxing Grandiloquent, Margaret Alice Second
- When The Evening Light Comes, Pijush Biswas
- Hindi haiku (56-60), S.D. TIWARI
- Retirement (or) Till Your Last, Natarajan Ramaseshan