I drew inspiration, and borrowed theme and structure, from one of my literary heroes. Part One is Langston Hughes’ famous poem, with its enduring image of a raisin in the sun. Part Two is poem for my mother.


What happens to a dream deferred?

      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?

      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?


What of a dream
that is never dreamed at all?

This undreamed dream—
A son dreamed dream
Does she hunt
by the light of the moon?
Or rust and rot—
on her moorings?

Does it suffocate—
Depressed, compressed
under granite?

Or float softly,
like a sad song in the air?

5 thoughts on “Diane

Add yours

  1. I especially liked picturing the undreamed dream as suffocating under granite, though I agree that it must float through the air like a sad song. And what of the dreams from those of us who have given up on dreaming? (Too many raisins in the sun).

    I’m sorry to hear about your mom.

  2. Mom passed away late this afternoon after several years of declining health. I now feel she is in a better place with my Grandpa and her beloved brothers who were always protective of their little sister.

  3. I am sure this would touch your mother. It reminds me of a poem I wrote for my grandpa when I was a teenager–it was essentially about how I thought he missed his calling, maybe traded in some dreams for others.
    It also makes me think of a metaphor I’ve been pondering recently–of our parents as our anchors, and when they’re gone, how adrift I imagine I will feel.

    1. Thanks Amanda. When grandparents, and parents, and older family friends are around, you always think of yourself as a kid. Pretty soon my generation will be “it.” 😦

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