Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Mothers

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So, that’s a full week of love poems. To close things out, a love poem to my mommy.

by Nikki Giovanni

the last time i was home
to see my mother we kissed
exchanged pleasantries
and unpleasantries pulled a warm
comforting silence around
us and read separate books

i remember the first time
i consciously saw her
we were living in a three room
apartment on burns avenue

mommy always sat in the dark
i don’t know how i knew that but she did

that night i stumbled into the kitchen
maybe because i’ve always been
a night person or perhaps because i had wet
the bed
she was sitting on a chair
the room was bathed in moonlight diffused through
tiny window panes
she may have been smoking but maybe not
her hair was three-quarters her height
which made me a strong believer in the samson myth
and very black

i’m sure i just hung there by the door
i remember thinking: what a beautiful lady
she was very deliberately waiting
perhaps for my father to come home
from his night job or maybe for a dream
that had promised to come by
“come here” she said “i’ll teach you
a poem: i see the moon
                the moon sees me
                god bless the moon
                and god bless me
i taught it to my son
who recited it for her
just to say we must learn
to bear the pleasures
as we have borne the pains

 

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Beautiful Black Men

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…And this is a poem for the brothers. Who are not ALL ALWAYS revolutionaries. I love you anyway.

(with compliments and apologies to all not mentioned by name)

Nikki Giovanni

i wanta say just gotta say something
bout those beautiful beautiful beautiful outasight
black men
with they afros
walking down the street
is the same ol danger
but a brand new pleasure

sitting on stoops, in bars, going to offices
running numbers, watching for their whores
preaching in churches, driving their hogs
walking their dogs, winking at me
in their fire red, lime green, burnt orange
royal blue tight tight pants that hug
what i like to hug

jerry butler, wilson pickett, the impressions
temptations, mighty mighty sly
don’t have to do anything but walk
on stage
and i scream and stamp and shout
see new breed men in breed alls
dashiki suits with shirts that match
the lining that compliments the ties
that smile at the sandals
where dirty toes peek at me
and i scream and stamp and shout
for more beautiful beautiful beautiful
black men with outasight afros

circa 1968

Seduction

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for all the revolutionaries. (this poem always makes me laugh)

by Nikki Giovanni

one day
you gonna walk in this house
and i’m gonna have a long African
gown
you’ll sit down and say “The Black…”
and i’m gonna take one arm out
then you—not noticing me at all—will say “What about
this brother…”
and i’m going to be slipping it over my head
and you’ll rap on about “The revolution…”
while i rest your hand against my stomach
you’ll go on—as you always do—saying
“I just can’t dig…”
while i’m moving your hand up and down
and i’ll be taking your dashiki off
then you’ll say “What we really need…”
and i’ll be licking your arm
and “The way I see it we ought to…”
and unbuckling your pants
“And what about the situation…”
and taking your shorts off
the you’ll notice
your state of undress
and knowing you you’ll just say
“Nikki,
isn’t this counterrevolutionary…?”