(for Maya Angelou, born April 4, 1928)

Though I didn’t call her that,
the two times I interviewed her,
but oh, how her song reverberated,

pinballing through my ribcage,
the elegant woman onstage singing
part of her story, the notes charging

into the audience like horses at a gallop,
releasing the caged bird in my own heart,
the writer she said she knew I was—

Come, rest here by my side—

who told me I had poetry in me,
the young reporter who’d tucked away
such frippery, to write stories about others

like this majestic woman,
this phenomenal woman—

The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.

Her generous smile stayed with me,
her great kindness to a young poet
lying low, learning from the maestra—

Each new hour holds new chances
For a new beginning—

her voice alive in the world,
singing still.

(Italicized lines from “Phenomenal Woman” and
“On the Pulse of Morning” by Maya Angelou)

#drangelou95 #celebrateangelou95 #MayaAngelou

Maya Angelou, 1969 / Photo: Chester Higgins Jr.

About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
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