Poem: “Hurricane” by Poet Yona Harvey

1 Posted by - November 17, 2020 - Black History, BLACK WOMEN, LATEST POSTS, Poems

Yona Harvey is an American poet and assistant professor at University of Pittsburgh. She won the 2014 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She is also an author of Marvel Comics’ World of Wakanda, becoming one of the first two black women writing for Marvel.

Harvey received her undergraduate degree in English from Howard University.  She went on to receive a graduate degree in English from Ohio State University and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Harvey published her first poetry collection, Hemming the Water, with Four Way Books in 2013. She won 2014 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for the collection and was named a finalist for 2014 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in poetry. In 2016, Harvey became a writer for the Marvel Comics series World of Wakanda, a spinoff of the Black Panther series; she and Roxane Gay are the first two black women to write for Marvel.


by Yona Harvey

Four tickets left, I let her go—
Firstborn into a hurricane.

I thought she escaped
The floodwaters. No—but her

Head is empty of the drowned
For now—though she took

Her first breath below sea level.
Ahhh       awe       &       aw
Mama, let me go—she speaks

What every smart child knows—
To get grown you unlatch

Your hands from the grown
& up & up & up & up
She turns—latched in the seat

Of a hurricane. You let
Your girl what? You let

Your girl what?
I did so she do I did
so she do so—

Girl, you can ride
A hurricane & she do
& she do & she do & she do

She do make my river
An ocean. Memorial,
Baptist, Protestant birth—my girl

Walked away from a hurricane.
& she do & she do & she do & she do
She do take my hand a while longer.

The haunts in my pocket
I’ll keep to a hum: Katrina was
a woman I knew. When you were

an infant she rained on you & she

do & she do & she do & she do







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