U.S. BIRTH GRAPH, 1946-1962 (revised)
behind a decommissioned half-track
on the kitchen table, the radio blaring
in the middle of a raspberry u-pick
while waiting at a railway crossing
ten minutes into a twenty-minute nap
inspired by a new and improved design
at a time of global economic certainty
with no thought given to the neighbours
despite recent gains in public awareness
beside the window, the television blaring
under the influence of Lysol Disinfectant
between a glass of wine and a box of novels
eight days before the next menstrual cycle
immediately following the six o’clock news
against all odds – and a latticework fence
where demand for reconciliation appears low
towards the advancement of colored people
below a yellowing photo of John Bell Hood
beyond what passes for stasis and change
Last week I asked a poet I know to critique my poem "U.S. Birth Graph, 1946-1964" (posted on Saturday). She had a number of comments, most of them focused on my use of personal pronouns, how they created confusion. While I am interested in confusion, I decided to rewrite the poem without these pronouns, using the same constraint as in the previous version.
Readers will note that the revised poem uses both Canadian and U.S. spellings, as well as the Canadian "railway" over the U.S. "railroad". My use of the Canadian spelling of "neighbourhood" comes from a Canadian education; my use of the U.S. spelling of "colored" is based on its referent: the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), an organization that continues to this day.
I am still not happy with this poem (particularly the last line) and will likely make further changes. If any should come to mind, please let me know.