by Kwame Dawes
I have heard so many poets say that thy feel like outcasts, until they meet other outcasts and dreamers, people who seem to feel like them, and suddenly they feel affirmed in their difference, and, as it turns out, their place in community. It is likely what Safiya Sinclair means in her elegant poem, “The Ragged and the Beautiful” published in the always engaging “immigrant and refugee” journal, The Bare Life Review, when she declares being “strange/ and unbelonging” as, being, at the same time, “perfectly” beautiful.
The Ragged and the Beautiful
By Safiya Sinclair
Doubt is a storming bull, crashing through
the blue-wide windows of myself. Here in the heart
of my heart where it never stops raining,
I am an outsider looking in. But in the garden
of my good days, no body is wrong. Here every
flower grows ragged and sideways and always
beautiful. We bloom with the outcasts,
our soon-to-be sunlit, we dreamers. We are strange
and unbelonging. Yes. We are just enough
of ourselves to catch the wind in our feathers,
and fly so perfectly away.
American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine.