to raise the courage

mica shows me the squashed cone-nose bug
which solves the mystery of who has been
leaving the bites on her skin
it’ s like i’m in a snow-globe
baigz calls out from early riser’s row
about the thick pieces, paperlike, swirling down
as seen through any window

thought i’d bring them in in case
they don’t/wouldn’t make it in the cold
i say of the light and lemony daffodils which
i arrange in the white vase
on the kitchen table
there’s nothing that really leaves
an impression joAnn says about
cincinnati and i laugh saying
what a great state/city motto
that would be

cole on the couch showing me
the waxy scab of her
recently skinned knee

as cynthia and i walk to the whitehouse
how she says on the path behind me
how surprised she is that it took
this long for us to meet/that we hadn’t
crossed paths earlier

crunch of rainbow sugar sprinkles
in between my teeth while i
chomp away at the sweetness of an
alline cupcake revealing a
maraschino cherry surprise tucked in the middle
bleeding its amaretto sweetness into
light white cake

the flush on em’s cheeks and the gap
where his two new teeth are slowly
growing in
as he leans in towards my seat at the merc
to ask if i’m ready to leave soon

nikki giovanni dropping wisdom/heart gems
left and right in her interview with krista tippett
while i maneuver spandura and elastic
under the needle and presser-foot in the lab:
kt: you are enjoying being in your 70s?
ng: i do, i recommend it! i do – i love it!

for something to live, something else usually has to die

on that (slave) ship, i’d be the person
who started that song, because somebody
has to raise a voice, to raise the courage,
the foresight to say we have to talk

race was a bad idea 200 years ago and
it’s a ridiculous idea today

we don’t have best sellers, poets don’t do that,
so we’re just trying to tell the truth as we understand it
and i want my students to understand that:
you have a voice – use it, never let anybody
take your voice and don’t waste what you know
and what you feel

as i say to my students: you’re your first reader,
so when you write, the main person that has to be pleased is you
you’re not writing so you can write a best seller, you’re
not writing so it can be turned into a movie,
you’re wiritng to tell the truth and you’re writing
to satisfy that thing in you that says
‘i have this truth to share’ and you have to
be proud of that

i hope i die wamred
by the life i tried to live


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