Gerald Yelle’s “Sister With Broom”

Magazine: Juked
Poem: “Sister with Broom”
Poet: Gerald Yelle
Blogger: M.  Adeolu

The poem opens with a description telling the reader it willl be about a mother and child and there being a sense of regret, somewhere between the lines.

The idea of “belief” is what sparked my eye about this poem. The author, Gerald Yelle exemplifies what could have been and the reasons why it was not possible. The fact that if the mayor’s mother had courage to believe in her daughter then the entire poem would have a different meaning. Throughout the story the author exemplifies a voice of regret, guilt and misunderstanding. In the poem “Sister with Broom” if the mayor’s mother knew what the daughter had in store for her future, the child would have been protected instead of neglected.

“Porches are no place to prepare a future leader” this line in the poem grabbed my attention and lingered with me.  It adds meaning to the poem by itself. There is nothing fascinating about a porch. We often connect a porch with being lazy on a hot summer day, sitting on it and watching life pass by. So to have the daughter take courses on the fine art of sweeping porches instead of “fallacy of the common and the notion of grazing” says a lot.

Living in a world where we have been inscribed with an image that a mother and her child should have a strong unbreakable, connection. Like God knows how many lines he has drawn on the inside of our own hands, a mother should know her child. It is intriguing to the reader how the mayor’ s mother didn’t know, and if she did how she would of treated her daughter differently. How she left her daughter to fend for herself, instead she would have made sure she was well groomed, into becoming a future leader. Reading this piece moved me because it opened my eyes on how people will not always put effort, or risk because they are unaware. Those who don’t risk, do nothing, and are nothing and that’s what the mayor’s mother did.

Published by


The literary journal of the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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