BUILDING NICOLE’S MAMA

Patricia Smith
        for the 6th grade class of Lillie C. Evans School,
Liberty City, Miami

I am astonished at their mouthful names–
Lakinishia, Chevellanie, Delayo, Fumilayo–
their ragged rebellions and lip-glossed pouts,
and all those pants drooped as drapery.
I rejoice when they kiss my face, whisper wet
and urgent in my ear, make me their obsession
because I have brought them poetry.

Read rest of poem at Rattle

Read more poems by Smith at the Poetry Foundation and the Academy of American Poets.

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