Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Alice Walker: "I Will Keep Broken Things"

Curator's note: Today we have the pleasure of the poet reading her poem. Please turn your volume up as the recording level was somewhat low. If you can't see the viewer above, watch the video here.

I will keep broken
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.

"I Will Keep Broken Things" by Alice Walker, from The Cushion in the Road: Meditation and Wandering as the Whole World Awakens to Being in Harm's Way. © The New Press, 2013.

Video credit: A reading in celebration of the April, 2009, opening of Walker's archives at Emory University, uploaded by Emory University on September 16, 2011.

1 comment :

  1. In a throwaway world this feels especially important and beautiful.


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