KIM (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what can I do for you?
DR. MAYA ANGELOU (caller): You may write me down in history
KIM: I’m sorry, that’s not a service we offer. Have you tried the Library of Congress?
ANGELOU: With your bitter, twisted lies
KIM: No, ma’am, I said the Library of Congress.
ANGELOU: You may tread me in the very dirt
KIM: We don’t offer that service either. You might try a dominatrix. Or a literary critic.
ANGELOU: But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
KIM: Like dust? Have you considered rising like bread? Bread rises.
ANGELOU: Does my sassiness upset you?
KIM: No. But you could rise like a cake. Cakes rise.
ANGELOU: Why are you beset with gloom?
KIM: I’m not. But parfaits–no, parfaits don’t rise. But balloons do. Why not rise like a balloon?
ANGELOU: ‘Cause I walk–
KIM: True. Balloons don’t walk. So are you going uphill? Upstairs? If you’re walking, how do you rise?
ANGELOU: Like I’ve got oil wells pumping in my living room
KIM: That must be tough on your carpets.
ANGELOU: Just like moons and like suns
KIM: Yes, the sun also rises. And it can fade your carpets.
ANGELOU: with the certainty of tides
KIM: There’s flood damage? You might consider replacing the carpet altogether.
ANGELOU: Just like hopes springing high
KIM: I’m glad you’re still hopeful, but–
ANGELOU: still I rise.
KIM: Glad to hear it. But is the carpet worth keeping?