Testament

By Carolyn M. Rodgers 1941–2010
child,
in the august of your life
you come barefoot to me
the blisters of events
having worn through to the
soles of your shoes.

it is not the time
this is not the time

there is no such time
to tell you
that some pains ease away
on the ebb & toll of
themselves.
there is no such dream that
can not fail, nor is hope our
only conquest.
we can stand boldly in burdening places (like earth here)
in our blunderings, our bloomings
our palms, flattened upward or pressed,
an unyielding down.

Carolyn M. Rodgers, “Testament” from The Heart As Ever Green (Garden City: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1978). Copyright © 1978 by Carolyn M. Rodgers.

Source: The Heart As Ever Green (Doubleday, 1978)

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Poet Carolyn M. Rodgers 1941–2010

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Parenthood, Disappointment & Failure

 Carolyn M. Rodgers

Biography

Carolyn M. Rodgers grew up on Chicago’s South Side. She attended Roosevelt University and the University of Chicago, and received her MA in English from the University of Chicago. Early in her career she was associated with the Black Arts Movement, attending writing workshops led by Gwendolyn Brooks and through the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC). Her collections of poetry include Paper Soul (1968); Songs of a . . .

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Poems by Carolyn M. Rodgers

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Parenthood, Disappointment & Failure

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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