Saturday, April 4, 2015

PO-EMotions #4

April is National Poetry Month. Every year, my dear friend (and poet Extraordinaire), Mary Lee Hahn chooses a theme, and writes a poem each day. Mary Lee blogs and posts her poems at two different places- YEAR OF READING and a fabulous new poetry blog POETREPOSITORY

This year, Mary Lee has chosen the theme, "PO-EMotions," and will be writing about a different emotion each day. She promises, "This year, I will write a poem a day that either evokes an emotion, or uses an emotion word in the title or body of the poem." If you want to read more about the emotions she will be touching on, go here.

Today's emotion is anger.

"Dear Mr. Activist"

I watch
as you organize protests
speak at workshops
attend city council meetings
post on social media

about racial profiling
how wrong the police are
how black men are not getting a fair deal

I totally agree with you
I wish it was different
and I want you to keep fighting

but sometimes
I wish you would remember
that the smallest things
matter most

I wish you would come
to my school
and sit next to
that little kindergarten guy
you know, the one with the chocolate skin
and sparkly brown eyes
who has never even met his daddy
you could read him a story
he would love it
if you showed up every week
or even a couple of times a month

I wish you would
hold an after school meeting
and pass out belts
to our fifth graders
the ones whose pants
are just beginning to sag
maybe teach them
how to tie a tie
before graduation
because it's a whole lot easier
to learn those things
from a living breathing
human being
than by watching
a youtube video

I wish you would show
at the neighborhood basketball court
you know, the one across from the post office
where the middle schoolers hang out
from sun-up to sun-down
you could shoot hoops
maybe even organize a team
teach the kids what it means
to work as a team,
to pass instead of shoot
to commit to showing up at practice
to persevere when your team
is losing by a whole lot
help those adolescents understand
that not many black men
are professional athletes
and that most of them who are
got there by a whole lot
of practice and hard work
and they took care of their business
at school too

I wish you would invite
a high school kid
to follow you through a day
or eat a meal at your table
maybe hang out with you on a weekend
those guys need to know
how a real man treats his wife
and that manhood involves
a whole lot more
than hunting down enough coins
to buy your next joint
and acting like a crazed animal
in a pen of females in heat

dear mr. activist
i totally agree with you
that things need to change
but sometimes
I wish you would remember
that the smallest things
matter most

 Carol Wilcox, (c) 2015


Kay said...

Carol, This is so powerful. I love the images you pile up so show the power of those smallest things that make all the difference in the world. It is easier to learn from a live person rather than a YouTube video.

Mary Lee said...

So much truth here.

Linda B said...

Maybe it would be good to send this to the newspaper, Carol? It's very powerful.