BE NOBODY’S DARLING: A POEM BY ALICE WALKER

Be nobody’s darling;
Be an outcast.
Take the contradictions
Of your life
And wrap around
You like a shawl,
To parry stones
To keep you warm.
Watch the people succumb
To madness
With ample cheer;
Let them look askance at you
And you askance reply.
Be an outcast;
Be pleased to walk alone
(Uncool)
Or line the crowded
River beds
With other impetuous
Fools.

Make a merry gathering
On the bank
Where thousands perished
For brave hurt words
They said.

But be nobody’s darling;
Be an outcast.
Qualified to live
Among your dead.

By Alice Walker, from the book In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose Paperback – May 17, 2004
Mitch_Dobrowner_Bears_Claw.jpg
Photograph by artist photographer John Paul Caponigro.

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