Autobiographia

I had everything and luck: Rings of smoke
blown for me; sunlight safe inside the leaves
of cottonwoods; pure, simple harmonies
of church music, echoes of slave songs; scraps
of candy wrappers -- airborne. Everything.
Mother and father, brother, aunts, uncles;
chores and schoolwork and playtime. Everything.

I was given gloves against winter cold.
I was made to wear gloves when I gardened.
I was made to garden; taught to hold forks
in my left hand when cutting, in my right
when bringing food to my mouth. Everything.

I had clothes I was told not to wear outside;
a face you could clean up almost handsome;
I had friends to fight with and secrets, spread
all over the neighborhood; the best teachers,
white and colored. I'm not making this up.
I knew that I had everything. Still do.

by G.E. Patterson

Other poems of PATTERSON (2)

Comments (6)

Wonderful poem it is good we appreciate what we have. I like
Lucky you, maaaan! ! ! Many pray for it, labour for it, but still do not get it! Good composition! ! !
My grandmother used to say, Count your blessings. You do. Nice poem.
An eye opener to fully appreciate what we are blessed with instead of complainIng about our lives! Great poem!
I grew up south of you in Natchez.........I had everything, too. Unfortunately, I never knew it. I just assumed. I really like your work here. thank you, Robert
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