was born in 1938 in Bessemer, Alabama. She is a farmer's daughter, one of a family of eight.
School intermingled with work at a factory, peddling vegetables, washing dishes, being a waitress and a telephone girl.
She now teaches at an Alabama high school--'the only reason why I'm in one place. I have one ambition: to be a poet.'
I HEARD A YOUNG MAN SAYING
I heard a young man saying
In the green afternoon,
In the sun-swept afternoon,
In the bees drone afternoon,
In the peaceful, splendid afternoon,
There's talk of war
Another decade. Another war.
One grown-up generation toward war.
Somehow, I planned on living.
What was the matter with me?
War. There's talk of war.'
I, a woman, listened by the door,
By the broken-hinged door,
'I somehow planned on living.'
Something plans these things.
The echo of the innocent words
Squirmed after me down the stairs,
Something plans these things . . .