A song in the front yard by Gwendolyn Brooks


I’ve stayed in the front yard all my life.

I want a peek at the back

Where it’s rough and untended and hungry weed grows.

A girl gets sick of a rose.

 

I want to go in the back yard now

And maybe down the alley,

To where the charity children play.

I want a good time today.

 

They do some wonderful things.

They have some wonderful fun.

My mother sneers, but I say it’s fine

How they don’t have to go in at quarter to nine.

My mother, she tells me that Johnnie Mae

Will grow up to be a bad woman.

That George’ll be taken to Jail soon or late

(On account of last winter he sold our back gate).

 

But I say it’s fine. Honest, I do.

And I’d like to be a bad woman, too,

And wear the brave stockings of night-black lace

And strut down the streets with paint on my face.

 

This poem can be found in the volume, Selected Poems.

Think about how the poem made you feel. Did it remind you of expectations others have placed and projected on you? Did the poem remind you of who you know yourself to be, deep inside?

May you live out another beautiful poem in the collection of your life today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

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