the vacant lot

By Gwendolyn Brooks 1917–2000 Gwendolyn Brooks
Mrs. Coley’s three-flat brick
Isn’t here any more.
All done with seeing her fat little form   
Burst out of the basement door;
And with seeing her African son-in-law   
(Rightful heir to the throne)
With his great white strong cold squares of teeth   
And his little eyes of stone;
And with seeing the squat fat daughter   
Letting in the men
When majesty has gone for the day—
And letting them out again.

Gwendolyn Brooks, “the vacant lot” from Selected Poems. Copyright © 1963 by Gwendolyn Brooks. Reprinted with the permission of the Estate of Gwendolyn Brooks.

Source: Selected Poems (1963)

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Poet Gwendolyn Brooks 1917–2000

Subjects Home Life, Relationships

 Gwendolyn  Brooks


Gwendolyn Brooks was a highly regarded, much-honored poet, with the distinction of being the first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize. She also was poetry consultant to the Library of Congress—the first black woman to hold that position—and poet laureate of the State of Illinois. Many of Brooks's works display a political consciousness, especially those from the 1960s and later, with several of her poems reflecting the civil . . .

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SUBJECT Home Life, Relationships

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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