Lady Day

By J. Patrick Lewis b. 1942

for Billie Holiday

Lady could pour you a song,
Coffee and a little cream.
Stir it the whole night long
Into a brown-sugar dream.

Lady could wrap you a note
Up in a velvet night
Sometimes Manhattan satin,
Always Harlem delight.

Lady Day could sing it
Like nobody ever has
At the Shim Sham Club, Hot Cha Cha,
Joints that swung on jazz.

Her bittersweet songs told Heartbreak,
Meet your sister Pain,
But Lady melted yesterdays
Into beautiful rain.

J. Patrick Lewis, "Lady Day (for Billie Holiday)" from Freedom Like Sunlight: Praisesongs for Black Americans, published by Creative Editions. Copyright © 2000 by J. Patrick Lewis.  Reprinted by permission of J. Patrick Lewis.

Source: Freedom Like Sunlight: Praisesongs for Black Americans (Creative Editions, 2000)

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Poet J. Patrick Lewis b. 1942

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Disappointment & Failure, Sorrow & Grieving, Arts & Sciences, Music, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life, Popular Culture

 J. Patrick Lewis

Biography

Former Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis grew up in Gary, Indiana and earned a BA at Saint Joseph’s College, an MA at Indiana University, and a PhD in economics at the Ohio State University. Lewis taught in the department of Business, Accounting and Economics at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, until 1998 when he became a full-time writer.

Lewis is the author of more than fifty books of poetry for children, which . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure, Sorrow & Grieving, Arts & Sciences, Music, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life, Popular Culture

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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