Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge!

the blanket

The first time my mother goes to New York City
it is only for a long-weekend visit,
her kiss on our cheeks
as much a promise as the excitement in her eyes.
I'll bring something back for each of you.

It's Friday night and the weekend ahead
is already calling us
to the candy lady's house,
my hand in Daddy's.
He doesn't know how to say no,
my grandmother complains.

But neither does she,
dresses and socks and ribbons,
our hair pressed and curled.
She calls my sister and me her baby girls,
smiles proudly when the women say how pretty we are.

So the first time my mother goes to New York City
we don't know to be sad, the weight
of our grandparents' love like a blanket
with us beneath it,
safe and warm.

Written by Jacqueline Woodson


Mr. Africa Poetry Lounge