Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer Poetry Pop-Up: Toni Asante Lightfoot

Middle Dreams
by Toni Asante Lightfoot

And with great fear I inhabit the middle of the night
What wrecks of the mind await me, what drugs
to dull the senses
John Wieners
"The Acts of Youth"

Between real sleep and the waking spasm and
between what you are and what you with
the ignorant exuberance of youth thought a great
life would be, lay the between of hope and fear.

I am living a life i never knew possible to the "I"
of my youth to grow into. This body I inhabit
long ago betrayed me. By 22, it moved from the 
smooth, taught, supple center to the broad middle

of a middle aged broad. I have had this body of
middle age twice as long as i had the 
great body glowing like morning, enticing night
with dance, bourbon, and "yes". Yesteryear is what

years of tomorrow have become. Wrecks
of relationships make the shoreline of
my memories fascinating. Among the 
lost ships I visit when i have time for my mind

to salvage from them the shiny bits that await
my wiser translation of the loud, scared me
is the big hulking ship holding dreams. What
do I do to quell their haunting? Drugs,

whiskey? No, I line them up, look them over to
remind myself: I am "here" because "there" looked dull.
Under the magnifying glass of age the
bright light of perspective tantalizes my senses.

Toni Asante Lightfoot is a native of Washington, DC, where she was president of the African American Writer's Guild. She moved to Chicago and was the director of writing programs at Young Chicago Authors. She currently consults on curriculum development that integrates the poetry with mathematical and scientific theory. Lightfoot is currently studying Chinese acupuncture and herbology.

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