Scottsboro, AL USA
I, Leigh Anne Dawson, in the midst of my life
having had two parents,
two books of poems,
and two decades of pain,
having cried for those who did not love me
and those who loved me--but not enough
and those whom i did not love--
declare myself now for joy.
There is pain enough to nourish us everywherre;
it is joy that is scarce.
I say to hell with the analysts of minus and plus,
the life shrinkers, the diminishers of joy.
I say to hell with anyone
who would suck on misery
like a pacifier...
in a toothless mouth.
I say to hell with gloom
And with those who scorn.
I myself have been a scorner
and have chosen scornful men,
men to echo all that was narrow,
men to hurt me as I hurt myself.
In my stinginess,
My friends have been stingy.
In my narrowness,
My men have been mean.
I resolve now for joy.
If that means I must live alone,
I accept aloneness.