for my country
©2010 by Alice Walker

I will keep
Broken
Things:
The big clay
Pot
With raised
Iguanas
Chasing
Their
Tails;
Two
Of their
Wise
Heads
Sheared
Off;

I will keep
Broken
Things:
The old
Slave
Market
Basket
Brought
To my
Door
By Mississippi
A jagged
Hole
Gouged
In its sturdy
Dark
Oak
Side.

I will keep
Broken
Things:
The memory
Of
Those
Long
Delicious
Night
Swims
With
You;

I will keep
Broken
Things:
In my house
There
Remains
An
Honored
Shelf
On which
I will
Keep
Broken
Things.

Their beauty
Is
They
Need
Not
Ever
Be
“fixed.”

I will keep
Your
Wild
Free
Laughter
Though
It is now
Missing
Its
Reassuring
And
Graceful
Hinge.

I will keep
Broken
Things:

Thank you
So much

I will keep
Broken
Things.

I will keep
You:

Pilgrim
Of
Sorrow.

I will keep
Myself

***

From Hard Times Require Furious Dancing.  New World Library, 2010.

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