Al Young title

FOR JOANNE IN POLAND | Al Young

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For JoAnne in Poland

JoAnne Ivory Gibson | KrakĂłw, Poland, circa 1965

 

FOR JOANNE IN POLAND

You are not to trouble yourself

with your ladyness

your blackness

mysteries

of having been brought up

on collard greens

           bagels

         &

Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee

 

Nor must you let the great haters

of our time

rattle in your heart

 

They are small potatoes

whose old cries

for blood

may be heard

any afternoon of the millennium

any portion

           of this

         schoolroom globe

 

Al Young

© 1969 and 1992 by Al Young
(from Heaven: Collected Poems, 1956-1990)

[Photo note: JoAnne Ivory, a Detroit Central High School girlfriend, married Donald B. Gibson, now an American literature scholar. In the mid-1960s, Gibson was awarded a postdoctoral Fulbright Fellowship to teach literature and English in Poland, where this lovely antique likeness of 'Jody' was snapped.]

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