Gwendolyn Brooks: Dry Hours and Delayed Dreams
Source: Piqsels, downloaded https://www.piqsels.com/en/public-domain-photo-jtndw (01.02.2021.)
We are things of dry hours and the involuntary plan,
Grayed in, and gray. “Dream” makes a giddy sound, not
Like “rent,” “feeding a wife,” “satisfying a man.”
But could a dream send up through onion fumes
Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes
And yesterday’s garbage ripening in the hall,
Flutter, or sing an aria down these rooms
Even if we were willing to let it in,
Had time to warm it, keep it very clean,
Anticipate a message, let it begin?
We wonder. But not well! not for a minute!
Since Number Five is out of the bathroom now,
We think of lukewarm water, hope to get in it.
my dreams, my works, must wait till after hell
I hold my honey and I store my bread
In little jars and cabinets of my will.
I label clearly, and each latch and lid
I bid, Be firm till I return from hell.
I am very hungry. I am incomplete.
And none can tell when I may dine again.
No man can give me any word but Wait,
The puny light. I keep eyes pointed in;
Hoping that, when the devil days of my hurt
Drag out to their last dregs and I resume
On such legs as are left me, in such heart
As I can manage, remember to go home,
My taste will not have turned insensitive
To honey and bread old purity could love.
Source: Selected poems (Brooks, G. (1963.), Selected poems, New York: Harper & Row Publishers).
More about Gwendolyn Brooks: https://www.zvonainari.hr/single-post/2019/06/07/weekly-zingers-she-thinks-of-heaven