Put my glad rags in a cardboard box—
This old jiggerboo never grew mature.
Is everthing in its place except me?
Don’t be surprised; I called all day

And the only person I could reach was
The operator; and it’s a sorry day when
Nothing is coming down but your foot.
And how deep is your stomach cause

That’s how far your heart will fall!
When I’m gone I might come back cause
I’m always forgetting something special.
A crease in my overalls, my collar stiff,

I cried as many tears as I have teeth.
And I only got two in my mouth. Son of the
Sun look out: as you get black you burn.
Is everything in its place except me?

  • Calvin Forbes, “The Other Side of This World” from Ploughshares (1974).

  • Source: Ploughshares (1974)

Poet Bio

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"What really makes a poem dynamic is not the use of grand gestures. Rather, it is the tones and expressions of the voice that help listeners connect and understand the meaning of a poem."
Angelica Sterling
2017 USVI POL Champ