Poetry & Poets

Grace Cavalieri

Grace Cavalieri

Grace is Maryland’s Tenth Poet Laureate. She has 21 books and chapbooks of poetry and 26 produced short-form and full-length plays. Her newest poetry publication is Showboat, 2019. Grace founded and still produces "The Poet and the Poem" on public radio, celebrating 43 years on-air in 2019. The show’s recorded at the Library of Congress and transmitted via Pacifica Network. She holds two Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards (1993 & 2013), A Paterson Poetry Prize, a Pen Fiction Award, the Bordighera Award for Poetry, The CPB Silver Metal and received the Associated Writers' Program George Garrett Award for 2013.

Language Lesson

It was a day much like this,
grey, with drizzle,
my mother took me visiting,
which was a big event –
She didn’t drive a car,
seldom went out.
How did we get there?
My father, perhaps, who
worked in a bank nearby.
He must have dropped us
by this large white house
with grand pillars.
I can’t imagine why
we were wanted there
but I met a boy my age.
I suppose that was it.
Get the toddlers together,
ready to learn to play.
I assessed the toys,
and took my pick,
a brand new trike, and
oh how it went,
as shiny as it looked.
My new playmate ran crying
filled with envy and
Me wants the bike.
Me wants it now.
I stopped. The wheels froze
on the rug as I looked
at my foe
ME wants the bike?”
I felt the sweet pleasure of
superiority, the first ache
of it, age three.
There would be no contest. I
could play as long as I liked.
I had him by the pronoun.
It was the happiest day of my life.

© Grace Cavalieri, all rights reserved