We love poetry by Nikki Giovanni

But Some of Us Stayed


we forget the strength

of those who stayed


we sometimes don’t recognize

what it took

to decide to build

a church

a school

a store to sell the yams

we picked from the ground

the tomatoes we carefully watched turn red

on the vines

to seek the okra pods

as well as to pick

our own cotton

we took pride

in our work

and lovingly encouraged

our daughters to dream

we sent them

our daughters

to school then

to college

and they stayed to help others

100 years is not

so long

when we plant

love with patience

when we find that song

that gives us strength

to go on


–Nikki Giovanni




Reprinted from the book Make Me Rain – Poems & Prose by Nikki Giovanni. Published by William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers Inc. Copyright © 2020 by Nikki Giovanni. Reprinted with permission of author.