Let's Start with a Poem

I’m writing this poem
because it’s all I can do.

I can’t set the world right.
I can’t put out the wildfires.
I can’t calm the hurricanes.
I can’t lower the oceans.
I can’t hold back the floods.
I can’t end the pandemic.
I can’t heal the sick.
I can’t raise the dead.
I can’t cancel the debts.
I can’t hire those without work.
I can’t house the homeless.
I can’t feed the hungry multitudes.
I can’t keep the schoolchildren safe.
I can’t relieve the droughts on the farms.
I can’t stop the violence in the cities.
I can’t pretend that color doesn’t matter.
I can’t wash away the sins of slavery.
I can’t get racist knees off dark-skinned necks.
I can’t return this land to its original peoples.
I can’t tear down the border wall.
I can’t uncage the children.
I can’t restore their mothers’ stolen wombs.
I can’t deflate the conspiracy theories.
I can’t spin all the lying into truth.
I can’t make new enemies become old friends again.
I can’t build peace out of scraps of hate.

But I will still try
to find words for this poem.

This is how we can begin.


Play notes: This was the first poem I wrote on the personal writing retreat from which I've just returned. Perhaps like you, I'm sometimes overwhelmed by despair over the state of my country and the world at large. Writing this proved cathartic. It enabled me to move into a somewhat lighter creative field.


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