"One Week Later in the Strange" by Elizabeth Alexander

Poem without Music

One week later in the strange
exhilaration after Lucille's death

our eyes were bright as we received instructions,
lined up with all we were supposed to do.

Now seers, now grace notes, now anchors, now tellers,
now keepers and spreaders, now wide open arms,

the cold wind of generational shift
blew all around us, stinging our cheeks,

awakening us to the open space
now everywhere surrounding.

"Crave Radiance" page 250

Poem with Music

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is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and the inaugural Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University. She's the author of a new memoir, The Light of the World. She's also the author of several books of essays and poetry including Crave Radiance.