gristalmalituphenia - the inability to forget an inappropriate or unfortunate memory.
We all have prejudiced associations
That, hard as we may try, we can’t control –
A vocal cue will prompt improper relations
We’d like to bury in a psychic hole;
We bite our tongues, avoiding confrontations,
And bit by bit we learn the proper role:
That out of all our inner storm and stress
We chose what to express – and not express.
Natasha Trethewey has now become
The poet laureate – and no Celt more than I
Is with her now within the seething scrum
Of Yankee English, nor more approves her high
Award, nor more aware of that low hum
That subjugated languages supply
In assonance, inflection, or in rhythm --
Depending on the tones surviving with them.
But those are not the accents that I hear
When someone says the poet laureate’s name –
And those are not the accents that will sear
My writhing inner self with childish shame.
What accent comes so clearly to my ear,
With foreign vowels I desperately disclaim
In prejudice that I cannot deny?
Natasha saying “Moose and squirrel must die!”
My strength is as the strength of eight --
My heart is nearly pure.