Maya Angelou

(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)

Old Folks Laugh - Poem by Maya Angelou

They have spent their
content of simpering,
holding their lips this
and that way, winding
the lines between
their brows. Old folks
allow their bellies to jiggle like slow
tambourines.
The hollers
rise up and spill
over any way they want.
When old folks laugh, they free the world.
They turn slowly, slyly knowing
the best and the worst
of remembering.
Saliva glistens in
the corners of their mouths,
their heads wobble
on brittle necks, but
their laps
are filled with memories.
When old folks laugh, they consider the promise
of dear painless death, and generously
forgive life for happening
to them.

Topic(s) of this poem: people power


Comments about Old Folks Laugh by Maya Angelou

  • (12/9/2017 2:04:00 AM)


    I love/loved Maya Angelou's poems in her beautifully written greeting cards! (Report) Reply

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  • Tom Allport (2/13/2017 12:28:00 PM)

    tom allport
    a wonderfully observed poem about older people having the freedom to laugh when they want to? (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (12/30/2015 1:19:00 PM)


    Saliva glistens in
    the corners of their mouths,
    their heads wobble
    on brittle necks, but
    their laps
    are filled with memories.
    Those are the tell-it-like-it-is words of Maya- one of the most straight-shooting female poets I have ever read.
    (Report) Reply

  • Naida Nepascua Supnet (6/2/2015 8:14:00 AM)


    When old folks laugh, they laugh with their hearts, they own the world.
    Their laughter speaks of satisfaction and amusement and fulfillment we are yet to achieve.
    (Report) Reply

  • Naida Nepascua Supnet (6/2/2015 8:12:00 AM)


    Oh yes.. it is satisfying to watch old folks laugh. Their laughter speaks of amusement and fulfillment and satisfaction. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, February 10, 2015



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