Nikki-Rosa
BY NIKKI GIOVANNI

childhood remembrances are always a drag   
if you’re Black

you always remember things like living in Woodlawn   

with no inside toilet

and if you become famous or something

they never talk about how happy you were to have   

your mother

all to yourself and

how good the water felt when you got your bath   

from one of those

big tubs that folk in chicago barbecue in   

and somehow when you talk about home   

it never gets across how much you

understood their feelings

as the whole family attended meetings about Hollydale

and even though you remember

your biographers never understand

your father’s pain as he sells his stock   

and another dream goes

And though you’re poor it isn’t poverty that

concerns you

and though they fought a lot

it isn’t your father’s drinking that makes any difference   

but only that everybody is together and you

and your sister have happy birthdays and very good   

Christmases

and I really hope no white person ever has cause   

to write about me

because they never understand

Black love is Black wealth and they’ll

probably talk about my hard childhood

and never understand that

all the while I was quite happy
**Author’s Note** 

To Nikki Giovanni… From Shaquana S. Gardner: I NEVER forgot this poem! And ALWAYS promised to grow into my OWN story! Thank YOU Auntie Nikki! A’se! 

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Photo Courtesy: Irina K

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