Poetry Wednesday – Audre Lorde

Photo credit: flickr user englishsnowLook I made a shiny new Poetry Wednesday button! Anyway, today I’d like to feature a poem by Audre Lorde. Lorde is, for me, one of the most expressive poets I have read. When you read her words, you just want to say them out loud. They have such a natural fluidity and rhythm. This poem in particular was an early favorite of mine. I considered posting another one today, just so I could have something new to read, but nothing else seemed to embody the way I feel about Audre Lorde like this poem does.

Hanging Fire by Audre Lorde

I am fourteen
and my skin has betrayed me
the boy I cannot live without
still sucks his thumb
in secret
how come my knees are
always so ashy
what if I die
before morning
and momma’s in the bedroom
with the door closed.


I have to learn how to dance
in time for the next party
my room is too small for me
suppose I die before graduation
they will sing sad melodies
but finally
tell the truth about me
There is nothing I want to do
and too much
that has to be done
and momma’s in the bedroom
with the door closed.


Nobody even stops to think
about my side of it
I should have been on Math Team
my marks were better than his
why do I have to be
the one
wearing braces
I have nothing to wear tomorrow
will I live long enough
to grow up
and momma’s in the bedroom
with the door closed.
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3 thoughts on “Poetry Wednesday – Audre Lorde

  1. I’ve read this poem for the first time many years ago and I love it now as much as I loved it then. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

  2. What a totally relatable poem. I totally agree with your read aloud comment, I started to read out loud as I was reading this. I love the new button by the way!

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