'One Week Later in the Strange' by Elizabeth Alexander

Poem with 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 without Music

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is a poet and professor of African American Studies at Yale University. She wrote and delivered "Praise Song for the Day" at Barack Obama's presidential inauguration. Her most recent book of poems is Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems, 1990-2010.

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