What can a poem do ?


a poem cannot save a life
cannot Luke Cage your skin
fend off a dark alley attack
cannot make you less woman
or less poor
or less Black
treated equally

a poem cannot stop a bullet
stop a bomb
stop terror on your doorstep
your step
even with poem in hand
could be your last
a blast would turn the paper poem is written on into dust
simile up in smoke
just molecules forgotten

a poem cannot turn back time’s hand
erase mistakes made
or cut, copy, paste memories
a poem cannot delete history’s horrors

but a poem can love
like hold you and scold you at the same time
a poem can rip away the untruths that have cocooned us
a poem can make you butterfly
not fly
you already fly
but a poem can make you float
no need to watch your step

quiet as kept
a poem can introduce you to yourself
help you discover those hidden
forbidden parts
a poem be like a mirror sometimes
help you see the crust in your eyes
and the plank

on second thought
a poem can save a life
like wise words granddaddy whispered
like the layer of truth just below the scriptures

a poem cannot stop a bullet
but can swallow the hate and spit back
a sonnet
that sonic booms
a room till
float like balloons
goblins and goons
soon just nod their heads
snap their fingers
to what’s written and said

isn’t it ironic

they say the pen is mightier than the sword
but there were few writers on my block
mostly fighters on my block
dropouts that pulled all-nighters on my block
they’d blue and red light us on my block
then indict us on my block
what if there were more writers on my block

on your block
in every barrio and borough
conclave and commonwealth
courtroom and capitol hill
what if they all spilled ink
on pages
allowed the innerworkings of their hearts
to scribble a poem or two

I wonder where we’d be if the masses knew
just what a poem could do.


Hope you enjoyed today’s poem.

I was also curious to learn what the poem can and can’t do.

Source: Poetry foundation

See you soon

Cheers 🙂

check out other collected poems on the blog @creativemay.net/random

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