Be Nobody’s Darling-Alice Walker

​Most people think of Alice Walker solely as a novelist. In my brain, she’s the ultimate multi-hyphenate: poet-author-essayist-scholar-educator-finder of Zora. I’ve been in a bit of a mood for the past few days, which is not helped buy the fact that I can’t find a book to read, but this poem brightened my day quite a bit. I wish that the teenage version of me knew about this poem because I would have probably painted it on my bedroom wall. 


Be nobody’s darling; 

Be an outcast.
Take the contradictions
Of your life
And wrap around
You like a shawl,
To parry stones
To keep you warm.
Watch the people succumb
To madness
With ample cheer; 
Let them look askance at you
And you askance reply.
Be an outcast; 
Be pleased to walk alone
Or line the crowded
River beds
With other impetuous

Make a merry gathering
On the bank
Where thousands perished
For brave hurt words
They said.

But be nobody’s darling; 
Be an outcast.
Qualified to live
Among your dead.


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