talk to me poem

Poet Nikki Giovanni was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, on June 7, 1943. Although she grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, she and her sister returned to Knoxville each summer to visit their grandparents. Nikki graduated with honors in history from her grandfather’s alma mater, Fisk University. Since 1987, she has been on the faculty at Virginia Tech, where she is a University Distinguished Professor.

 

CHOICES – by Nikki Giovanni
If i can’t do
what i want to do
then my job is to not
do what i don’t want
to do
It’s not the same thing
but it’s the best i can
do
If i can’t have
what i want . . . then
my job is to want
what i’ve got
and be satisfied
that at least there
is something more to want
Since i can’t go
where i need
to go . . . then i must . . . go
where the signs point
through always understanding
parallel movement
isn’t lateral
When i can’t express
what i really feel
i practice feeling
what i can express
and none of it is equal
I know
but that’s why mankind
alone among the animals
learns to cry

 

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