Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

Poetry Break! Honoring My Dad

Poetry Month brings my late father to mind.  He loved poetry and was an amateur poet himself (“amateur” in the classical sense of “one who loves what he does”).  Here for your enjoyment are two of his works.

The first reminds me of how I felt when our world was so constricted during Covid.  Perhaps it will speak to you, too.


       The Shut-In

I wanna go places.
I want to see
the people . . . their faces.
I want to be
to share
the fun and joy
of all the things I’ve read about
since I was a boy.

I would have loved
to’ve caught the fish
that’s on my dish,
to explore
the ocean floor
and what’s more
to encounter some old sea monster,
amongst other things,
would have been my dream.

To cross the open desert
on a camel’s back
with just a little sack
of . . . whatever they eat.
And perhaps to meet
or get to know
the kinds of folks
you go there to see
who are people . . . like me.

          by Norris E. Micheaux, Jr.
          First published in my novel Possibles (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995)


The second always brings me joy, knowing how my father loved me and how I loved him — and still love him, madly.  [By the way, Daddy wrote this poem long before the Beatles released “When I’m 64.”]


       Love You Madly

Will you love me in the springtime?
Will you love me in the fall?
Will you love me when the moon’s a-shining,
or when there ain’t no moon a-tall?
Will you love me when I’m down and out,
and when I’m old and gray?
Will you love me, love me madly?
is what I want you to say.

I will love you in the morning.
I will love you in the night.
I’ll even say you’re beautiful
when I know you look a sight.
I will be right here beside you
when you’re down and out and gray
for I love you, love you madly
every day in every way.

        by Norris E. Micheaux, Jr.
        First published in my novel Possibles (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995), and later in Cricket Magazine (February 2000)


So, take a Poetry Break, not just in April but often.  Read one.  Write one.  Share one with someone you love.  Happy Poetry Month.


For more about Poetry Break, see my blog post “Poetry Break! Enjoy the Moment” from March 28, 2021.