Happy International Poetry Day!


In celebration, I was inspired to write this poem.


Singing America

We started with tacos

everyone says this is the best place

she was the thing that caught my attention

she must have been my mothers age

translucent skin browned by heritage

this is Mexico

she sang

we too, are America

the light was shining down on her

the stage flamed with all she was giving us

her heartbeat shot straight out and

hit me

just as she opened her mouth for the next song

she liquified fear and spilled it for all of us

it dripped onto the floor and somehow I wanted to smear my hands

in it and cover myself in this imagination of what could be

this must be the country we dream of

maybe she is America

browned and pushing 60 and so sure of herself

that wink she gives me says everything

maybe she too is the America I’ve always loved

long dark hair rich with history and allowance of grays as evidence of our sins but there to remind us of what not to do again

maybe she too is the America

when she opens her mouth I spy a hint of metal

braces tucked of metal

braces careening out of her mouth

the awkward girl

the pimpled boy

but no we will not tease her

because she is absolutely glorious

maybe she too is the America I’ve always wanted

reminding us all that always wanted

by now we have finished the tacos

and the margaritas and I can’t leave without requesting a song

Gracias A La Vida

She bows towards me starts to pluck her guitar and the song goes

it just keeps going

Thank You Life

She is tilting her head back and singing with every muscle

I can see it

she is choosing to believe tat that life

in the end

has been good to us

On the way out she grabs my hand as I

put something in her basket

those eyes dark like plums

Yes, this is America

her awkward smile

her wrinkled skin her belief that good things do happen

her colored past her wrongs often never made right

her brownness her colored ness her other ness but sameness

her belief that she can do anything she wants including sing in a bar when she’s pushing my mother’s age

her sure eyes her love for the other

this is what I love about her

Now, I’m just asking her to come


© Uchechi Kalu 2017

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