I sat in some literature class despondent like a mofo when Gwendolyn Brooks passed away in 2000. I had plans for us.
We were gonna meet at the Chicago State University Conference for Black Literature and Creative Writing and she was gonna take me under her wing and make me one of her mentees. And we were gonna live happily ever after.
Straighten your face: you already know I suffer from daydreaming disease.
(Poem after the jump).
Wm. Laurence & Millicent B. Turner (my maternal grandparents) c. 1960
When You Have Forgotten Sunday: The Love Story
Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000)
—And when you have forgotten the bright bedclothes on a Wednesday and a Saturday,
And most especially when you have forgotten Sunday—
When you have forgotten Sunday halves in bed,
Or me sitting on the front-room radiator in the limping afternoon
Looking off down the long street
Hugged by my plain old wrapper of no-expectation
And nothing-I-have-to-do and I’m-happy-why?
When you have forgotten that, I say,
And how you swore, if somebody beeped the bell,
And how my heart played hopscotch if the telephone rang;
And how we finally went in to Sunday dinner,
That is to say, went across the front room floor to the ink-spotted table in the southwest corner
To Sunday dinner, which was always chicken and noodles
Or chicken and rice
And salad and rye bread and tea
And chocolate chip cookies—
I say, when you have forgotten that,
When you have forgotten my little presentiment
That the war would be over before they got to you;
And how we finally undressed and whipped out the light and flowed into bed,
And lay loose-limbed for a moment in the week-end
Then gently folded into each other—
When you have, I say, forgotten all that,
Then you may tell,
Then I may believe
You have forgotten me well.