Family Secrets Poem by Toi Derricotte

Family Secrets

Rating: 3.4

They told my cousin Rowena not to marry
Calvin―she was too young, just eighteen,
& he was too dark, too too dark, as if he
had been washed in what we wanted
to wipe off our hands. Besides, he didn't come
from a good family. He said he was going
to be a lawyer, but we didn't quite believe.
The night they eloped to the Gotham Hotel,
the whole house whispered―as if we were ashamed
to tell it to ourselves. My aunt and uncle
rushed down to the Gotham to plead―
we couldn't imagine his hands on her!
Families are conceived in many ways.
The night my cousin Calvin lay
down on her, that idol with its gold skin
broke, & many of the gods we loved
in secret were freed.

—from Tender 1997

Dave Walker 19 December 2011

Like it. Enjoyed reading it. A great poem. May i invite you to read my new poem called, War Of Goodwill.

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David Slater 18 January 2014

It seems amazing to me that such prejudice could exist in a people who have suffered so much from prejudice.

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Jayatissa K. Liyanage 18 January 2015

A real life experience, looks like. Seems that human feelings on matters close to heart erupt somewhat similarly, universally, irrespective of color, creed or caste where ever people live. Thanks for sharing.

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Anil Kumar Panda 12 March 2019

A nice poem on social stigma family has to go through by practicing prejudice. Loved the message in the poem. Thanks for sharing.

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Edward Kofi Louis 12 March 2019

She was too young! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

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Chinedu Dike 12 March 2020

Really an interesting story told with clarity of thought and mind. Thanks for sharing.

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Alouwou Mandjah 12 March 2020

Hey family, cousin Rowena and cousin Calvin got married, just keep it secret

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Anil Kumar Panda 12 March 2020

All is fair in love and war. It is very difficult to stop young lovers to change their mind. It is better to let them do s they like. Nice poem. Enjoyed the story.

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Rajnish Manga 12 March 2020

When Rowena and Calvin are happy with the arrangement, others have no business to intervene. Love is deeper than the colour of the skin. Thanks.

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Mahtab Bangalee 12 March 2020

still around the world superstition lives lively many society, many families on the path of destruction for this type prejudice let's rescue the world nation from meaningless beliefs and superstitions! ! ! ! ! ! !

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Toi Derricotte

Toi Derricotte

Hamtramck, Michigan
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