in my younger years
before i learned
black people aren’t
suppose to dream
i wanted to be
a raelet
and say “dr o wn d in my youn tears”
or “tal kin bout tal kin bout”
or marjorie hendricks and grind   
all up against the mic
and scream
“baaaaaby nightandday   
baaaaaby nightandday”
then as i grew and matured
i became more sensible   
and decided i would   
settle down
and just become
a sweet inspiration

Nikki Giovanni, “Dreams” from Black Feeling, Black Talk, Black Judgment. Copyright © 1968, 1970 by Nikki Giovanni. Used with the permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
Source: The Collected Poems of Nikki Giovanni (2003)
More Poems by Nikki Giovanni