New Poem Monday

My son doesn’t need a poem
He will want one
I will write one
I will write many
I will write him a place to put the pages
And he will know I love him
But my son doesn’t need a poem
My voice does not need to tell you how important he is
He already has a whole culture to do that for him
A world which will tell him he is the most important
That his tears are worth more than mothers
Who cry for their sons
In Serbia
Or Iraq
Or Oakland
Or Ferguson
He will read books written
By people who look just like him
Told he can be anything
That others must bend and break for him
That he deserves the crown
He will have options
He will meet juries of his peers
He will get the kindest judgement
He will avoid jail time with community service
He will be defended
And defended
He will have plenty of people to speak on his behalf
But his voice will always be heard in a crowded room
My son is not a poem
I just write poems for him
They tell him to stop listening
That this place tells him he is worth more
By birthright
By birthplace
By skin color
But he should not take things and then take them for granted
The voices rising up mean more than the people who look like him
And their words mean more than mine
Or his
The way we dismantle a broken system
Is by teaching our children how to make it better
My son is not poetry
And neither is Trayvon
Or Mike
Or Eric
Or Sandra
My son will not die in police custody
He will not be humiliated
Or Dehumanized
Told his breath means nothing
Shot with a bag of candy in his pocket
Shot while playing in the park
Shot in the back at a political protest
Shot in the head at a DUI stop
Choked to death on the sidewalk
My son does not fear for his life
My son does not live waiting to die
My son does not need to be protected
A 2 year old does not need to be taught their body is disposable
All 2 year olds do not need to be taught their bodies
Are disposable
My son needs to be taught how he can change
How he can unlearn
How he can listen
How he can put down the gun
How he can fight back against decades of racism
By seeing the ways he contributes to that system
How he can help uplift voices that are not his own simply by letting them speak for themselves

How his voice is just a drop of water

And not the whole ocean
That words are meant to connect us
To show us how we can be better
I want to write him a poem entitled “how you can make it better”
But I don’t even know
where to start

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Rebuilding

It’s a difficult thing to rebuild your body
When you have no hands to help you
When the limbs of your past leave only stumps with twigs
Or a bandage oozing
You struggle to find replacements for the things that
Were taken
Trying on the masks given to you
To hide what everyone can already see
When you are pillaged
When the earth has been damaged
The cracks in the concrete
Are the only hope you have left
You wonder if your blood will water the new seeds
You wonder if you will ever been seen as whole again
You will know you will only see what is missing
You will know what it’s like to twist clay in what’s left
And fill in the holes
You will be told you are not broken
You will be placed on a shelf
But never touched again
You will know you are fragile
You will see your own reflection and think
My god what have I become?

Kintsugi is a Japanese form of pottery
Broken pots are repaired with gold to highlight
The blemishes
Because rebuilding is what we do
There is not shame in the ugliness of it

Today’s Prompt

This week I’ve been reading “the Gift” by Lewis Hyde
And it’s led me to do a lot of thinking about how we give and receive gifts in our lives. Sometimes we get gifts we wanted, sometimes we are offered things we do not want, and sometimes we do not realize we had been given a gift until much later in life. Sometimes gifts don’t even feel like gifts in the first place.

So today

Write about one gift you wished you never received. Then write about one gift you wished you never gave someone else.

Happy Monday!

Game face:

The difference between baring your teeth
And smiling
Is surprisingly less than you’d think
Either way those pearly whites
Will hide what lives on your tongue
Be it ambrosia
Or halitosis
You can kill em with kindness
Or just kill em
Doesn’t matter
it’s better to keep your enemies close

Take masks down from perches
Make homes for them
In your cheeks

Cut a grin tight
Paint arches over your eyes
And invite others to stand in your shade

New poem Monday

Vivisection:

When pain is excruciating
Your mind protects itself by
Blacking out the sensation
Until you forget it was ever
There.

When you find the one
Who can push your buttons
With the most delicate of touches
You know you have found the person
Who will murder you
Mercilessly.
It is a gracious kind of pain

Never have you
Enjoyed your own slaughter
This much.