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Derrick Brown

Years: 2011


Derrick Weston Brown holds an MFA in Creative Writing from American University. He was the founding Poet-In-Residence at Busboys and Poets and has taught creative writing and poetry at all levels of education. His poetry has been featured in such publications as The Washington PostThe New Orleans Times-Picayune and Colorlines. His work has also been featured in such journals as Vinyl, ThisMag, Fledgling Rag and The Tidal Basin Review. He is a graduate of the Home School and VONA Voices summer workshops. His debut collection of poetry, Wisdom Teeth (PM Press/Busboys & Poets Press) was released in 2011. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, he resides in Mount Rainier, MD.


Cause I said so!


After Harryette Mullen’s  “Any Lit”


You gonna be my  found and forever spooner.

You gonna be my  frowned and forever schooner.

You gonna be my  flounder forever sooner.

You gonna be my  flautist Forever’s tuner.

You gonna be my  foul kiss forever sutured.

You gonna be my  falcon  forever swooper.

You gonna be my Faust’s son forever stupor.

You gonna be my  Frau hon forever soothed for.

You gonna be my  flower forever saddle sore.

You gonna be my Falcor’s  forever streamlined roar.

You gonna be my  fallow forever  seeded .

You gonna be my final forever ceded.


A Poem for Peter of The Snowy Day


You are a bright red cardinal feather Peter.


You are me.

A brown boy who scales mountains

and slides down slopes of imagination-

takes snowballs home for keepsakes

and weeps when what you love

melts away in the warmth of a happy home.


And haven’t we all as children tried

to hold on to happiness?

Pocket it

to stow away for a rainy day

when the melt becomes too much for us

and grown up fears and futures

start to snowball.


Peter. My brown reminder of the

child within, who’ll never melt



At the VA

The man who shares

a room with my father

titters and jerks

under the covers of

his bed.


His hair is wet and silver

corn silk slivers against the

pillow. He dances under those

sheets like a thick cut

piece of bacon on a

skillet lacquered with grease.


He calls for his Mama.


This scares me and I watch

him from my chair where

I sit with Daddy.


Daddy barely notices.

I’m scratching the back

of his head, applying

lotion to his scalp

because his hands

don’t work.


I turn away from the man

in the bed who moans

“Cover me”

“Cover me”


And I don’t know if

this is meant for

the mother

or platoon

he keens for as his dream caught

legs churn his sheets

into white cloth froth.


I focus on Daddy’s scalp

and make this ritual my

sole duty. I watch his

eyes close. His creased

brow smooth. This is my

way I bring Daddy home

from war.