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Maya Angelou Poem - No more cages

You were so beautiful
Standing in front of the
President and the First Lady

I didn’t really understand
Your Pulse Of Morning 
Presidential inauguration poem
I kind of got lost in the dinosaur theme
Poems about Mastodons usually
Don’t instantly inspire Black dreams

But those Harvard and Yale Bullies 
came out the next day 
To criticize your Iambic feet
How your syllables are too short
Too long or don’t repeat

But in the South
We were taught to 
protect our Grandmothers
And help them cross the street

And I wish you had just read And Still I Rise
Would have loved to see 
The look in Bill Clinton’s eyes

 Your Calling Of Names poem
That would have given Colin’s blood pressure
A Rise

Dick Cheney would have just laughed

Or if you had read the poem
 Chugga chugga Chigga
I would have laughed 
As Hillary’s eyes got bigger

And part of me was hoping
For a And Still I Rise Part II

But since you are gone now
The Dinosaur poem will do

It really was a beautiful poem

I was never captured by your

Always struggled with 
Caged Bird themes
I thought it was more about women
Less about Black dreams

But I did like the movie

And when it is all over White poets will say

You were not as graceful as Langston
Or Gwen or Rita

And Black poets will say

You were never as angry as Nikki or Sonya
Or as political as Baraka

And the legacy people will scramble
Trying to find a place in History
For the sweet dancing Black woman
That stole our hearts
And sold a hundred zillion books

Took pictures with Malcolm and Martin

So I write this poem to beg their pardon

And of course they’ll name
A few inner city schools after you

There will be a Maya avenue
In at least thirty Black neighborhoods
This will be good

And I’m sure there will be 
a Maya Angelou library
On a Martin Luther King Boulevard 
Near a Malcolm X Cemetery somewhere
Where people will gather and stare

And on your birthday politicians
Will congregate and celebrate

Just like they do for Martin Luther King
But they still won’t get
Why the caged bird sings

Sixty honorary doctorate degrees
And both Harvard and Yale never saw you
They say your work is lacking in invention
And in the company of Riding, Bishop
And Edna Saint Vincent
Your sweet name will never be mentioned

And for the rest of my life
I’ll have to wonder
How the Pulitzer Prize

evaded you for more than 
a half a century

And ten years from now
I will be working in my office

And a bird will land on my window sill
With wings of yellow, green and blue

And if it smiles and dances
And and sings like it's free

Than I will know its you

Goodbye Maya

No more cages for you...

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