July 4, 1974

By June Jordan 1936–2002 June Jordan

Washington, D.C.

At least it helps me to think about my son   
a Leo/born to us   
(Aries and Cancer) some   
sixteen years ago   
in St. John’s Hospital next to the Long Island   
Railroad tracks   
Atlantic Avenue/Brooklyn   
New York   

at dawn

which facts   
do not really prepare you   
(do they)   

for him

and running through the darkness with his own   

becoming light

June Jordan, “July 4, 1974” from Directed By Desire: The Collected Poems of June Jordan (Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by The June M. Jordan Literary Trust. Used by permission of The June M. Jordan Literary Trust, www.junejordan.com.

Source: The Collected Poems of June Jordan (2005)

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Poet June Jordan 1936–2002

Subjects Living, Parenthood

Occasions Birthdays

Holidays Independence Day

 June  Jordan


One of the most widely-published and highly-acclaimed African American writers of her generation, poet, playwright and essayist June Jordan was also known for her fierce commitment to human rights and progressive political agenda. Over a career that produced twenty-seven volumes of poems, essays, libretti, and work for children, Jordan engaged the fundamental struggles of her era: over civil rights, women’s rights, and sexual . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Parenthood

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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