For Ntozake Shange (1948-2018)

Rest in dancing, rest in poetry,
rest in your courage to face
bi polar and addiction
and a world
that wanted to shed your words
like the water of a hard rain.

For I was pregnant
when I first met your poetry
and saw ‘For Colored Girls,’
and you gave me hope for the future.
I was a young woman
and you gave me power.
I was white
and you gave me shame
that could turn
not to defensiveness
or avoidance or anger,
but to creativity.

Rest like a seed
in the dancing lives
of young black women,
in the poetry of those who need to speak up,
in the stories and the rainbows,
of all the people

who need to love fiercely.

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2 Responses to For Ntozake Shange (1948-2018)

  1. powerful, love her works

  2. Maren says:

    I remember the cast of the Boston production gave me a baby present when my son was born — and so many of my “feminist” friends offered sympathy that i had a boy. (Not really what a new Mom wants to hear.) Don managed the theatre where they played so they saw me in my last days. so my memories are both of power and passion and of caring and tenderness.

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