portraiture Why stir things up for the hell of it? They're willing to discuss the new counterculture, Even read a book you suggest, but as they see it, The past is over. If they were unloved by their mothers Or shouted into submission at every stage Of development, they're fully recovered. If others keep having kids they can't raise And quitting jobs, it's from lack of resolve, or bad culture. They're glad to explain their position: We overcame, too. Our parents used to be poor. One of them was violent. We were brought up on unspoken racism and junk food But turned out OK and not racist. Hey, we're resilient. We triumphed over rocky beginnings. And so can you. Things Chinese Once, I tried to banish them all from my writing. This was America, after all, where everyone's at liberty To remake her person, her place, or her poetry, And I lived in a town a long way from everything Where discussions of "diversity" Centered mainly on sexuality. My policy, born of exhaustion with talk about race And the quintessentially American wish for antecedents, Eliminated most of my family, starting with the grandparents, Two of whom stayed
Prairie Schooner – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Dec 28, 2004
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