Guest poem sent in by Ebor Mithwarg
(Poem #645) Old Folks laugh
They have spent their content of simpering, holding their lips this and that way, winding the lines between their brows. Old folks allow their bellies to jiggle like slow tamborines. The hollers rise up and spill over any way they want. When old folks laugh, they free the world. They turn slowly, slyly knowing the best and the worst of remembering. Saliva glistens in the corners of their mouths, their heads wobble on brittle necks, but their laps are filled with memories. When old folks laugh, they consider the promise of dear painless death, and generously forgive life for happening to them.
What I love about this poem is the way it conjures up the tired hilarity of old people - a way of laughing that is equally a mode of surrender: and the way the poem is like the laugh itself, blending an elusive sense of joy with an ancient fatigue. Aseem Links: There's a biography of Angelou at poem #383