Toi Derricotte

(April 12, 1941 / Hamtramck, Michigan)

Toi Derricotte Poems

1. from Burial Sites 6/26/2015
2. Black Boys Play the Classics 7/3/2015
3. A Note On My Son's Face 1/7/2015
4. Elegy For My Husband 1/29/2015
5. For Black Women Who Are Afraid 1/9/2015
6. Market 12/19/2011
7. From A Letter: About Snow 12/19/2011
8. Family Secrets 12/19/2011
9. The Weakness 1/20/2003
Best Poem of Toi Derricotte

The Weakness

That time my grandmother dragged me
through the perfume aisles at Saks, she held me up
by my arm, hissing, "Stand up,"
through clenched teeth, her eyes
bright as a dog's
cornered in the light.
She said it over and over,
as if she were Jesus,
and I were dead.She had been
solid as a tree,
a fur around her neck, a
light-skinned matron whose car was parked, who walked
on swirling
marble and passed through
brass openings--in 1945.
There was not even a black
elevator operator at Saks.
The saleswoman had brought velvet
leggings to lace ...

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