Poetry from Michael Robinson

Black Boys Growing Up

For Vincenza


Tying a tail onto a kite,

Watching for the first flowers of spring,

Shaking off the winter cold that had soaked down to the bone,

Kissing a girl for the first time and feeling sane,

Staying away from strangers that carry knives and guns.

Avoiding the war when I turn 18 so that I don’t die in a foreign land,

Living in a world that grasshoppers leap high into the air

And the flowers bloom in my backyard.

Yes, I want to be a black man when I grow up.



It was my foster mother that was my salvation. I held on to her in spirit most of my life. It was her reddish tan skin and her silver gray hair that spoke to my senses ever since I can remember. I always wanted to express my love for her by kissing her on her cheek. Yet, I was always afraid of being rejected by the one lady that meant so much to me. One day, I overcame my fear and kissed her on her cheek, and she accepted it as she had always accepted me.


A Life Lived

after Carol  Frost’s: Autumn Tune

I know of losses, Apples with one bite taken out of them and then thrown into the garden for the worms. Ripening bananas turned to brown, spotted sugar. Love was a picture hanging above my bed. Ideas that were spoiled by clouds moving too fast for the eyes to see. A sore tongue that had not spoken words of peace have only known of vulgar words. Women wearing mini-skirts giving me hope that I would find the right woman. Each step I took was for atonement for lost beliefs and the world was an upside down cake.