August 11, 2021 Courtney Napier

“July 4, 1974”

Nothing prepares you for children, whether having your own, or having someone else’s child burst through your door on a visit, full of questions and vigor. And yet there they are, pulling us along, leading the way, and as June Jordan says here, “becoming light.”

July 4, 1974
By June Jordan

Washington, D.C.

At least it helps me to think about my son
a Leo/born to us
(Aries and Cancer) some
sixteen years ago
in St. John’s Hospital next to the Long Island
Railroad tracks
Atlantic Avenue/Brooklyn
New York

at dawn

which facts
do not really prepare you
(do they)

for him

and running through the darkness with his own

becoming light

June Jordan, “July 4, 1974” from Directed By Desire: The Collected Poems of June Jordan (Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by The June M. Jordan Literary Trust. Originally published online by the Poetry Foundation.

Share with a friend