The Singer Will Not Sing

Maya Angelou

A benison given. Unused,

No angels promised,

wings fluttering banal lies

behind their sexlessness. No

trumpets gloried

prophecies of fabled fame.

Yet harmonies waited in her stiff throat. New Notes

Lay expectant on her stilled tongue.

Her lips are ridged and

fleshy. Purpled night birds

snuggled to rest.

The mouth seamed, voiceless,

Sounds do not lift beyond those reddened walls.

She came too late and lonely

to this place.


The Singer Will Not Sing by Maya Angelou © 1986 Bantam Books

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