I had such a terrific experience today! I accidentally got hold of the invitation to a “Write-In” centered on our current turbulent events. I’d never been to a Write-In, and it sounded like writer fun. It turned out to be “not at all what I expected” – in a good way.
The event, it turns out, was hosted by Writers In Baltimore Schools, an organization dedicated to empowering the voices of Baltimore City students through building skills in literacy and communication while creating a community of support for young writers.
I got to meet and listen to a bunch of wonderful young creatives.
This was really their space, and they were kind enough to let me hang out anyway. So I did! As it turns out, a Write-In consists of prompted writing opportunities (in this case, poems – which I really don’t do…), with participants reading their new creations in the group. Like I said, this was really their space and I didn’t want to take it over, so I didn’t read. But I am posting my poems here so y’all can see what a dreadful poet I am – and to commemorate an afternoon spent in the company of my superiors.
Acrostic Poem based on the name of someone who has fallen to police violence
“Racism” is a word we speak –
even in “polite conversation” – instead of
denying that it exists.
Hearing the voices of
Americans who were never free
makes it obvious,
that slavery isn’t
over – it just went underground.
Now, can we eradicate it?
A poem about something that you feel is standing in your way or obstructing you from doing/being something you want.
As a soldier,
I put up my life
To protect and preserve liberty
For all my countrymen.
As a veteran,
I watch my leaders, my neighbors –
The people whose privilege I protected –
Contort my Constitution
Sully my Service
Demean my patriotism
By denying those graces to others.
We risk ourselves
And they spend our lives cheap.
We vote for change
And they gerrymander us into silence.
We hold out our arms to support others
And find our shoulders weighed down til we cannot move.
And now they wonder
Why we burn.
The Fire at Target
Is where they burned my constitution
The burning church
Where they scorched my voter card
The fire at the precinct
Is where they burned the evidence of their wrongdoing.
The fire in the street
Is where they burned the bodies
The citizens of my Republic demand justice
And they refuse to be extinguished.