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NaPoWriMo 2012: Day 10

Throughout the month of April, in honor of National Poetry Writing Month, I am writing an average of one poem a day. Most of them will be based on prompts I have found on various sites.

I've been busy the past two days, and I've been doing some pre-writing for two poems. The first one is based on quotes from the press conference by Trayvon Martin's parents, after charges were announced for his shooter. It's a bit polemical, but it's in a grand tradition of political poems, which tend to be more abstract. But of course, it's only a rough draft.

A Million Mothers
(for Trayvon Martin)

by Alyce Wilson

I wake him with a song. His eyes flutter
beneath long lashes. He smiles
through dreams. I nudge him
and sing: "Good morning, good
morning. You slept
the whole night through."

I just want to speak from my heart
to your heart, because a heart
has no color. It is not black,
it's not white. It's red.

As I carry him, one-armed, he entwines
his fingers in my hair, like riding
a pony. He is bundled
against Spring's cold. "A trolly,
a trolly," he says. The bell clangs.
He strains to see.

When I walk, I will walk by faith.
We will continue to walk by faith.

Somewhere, other mothers are rising.
Other mothers bundle their children
against the cold. Cook oatmeal
or eggs, or pour cereal. But somewhere
a mother sits by an empty chair.

For somewhere, a suspicious man followed
a hooded child. Somewhere, a man
scuffled with that teen, and somehow
shot him. Somewhere, he was not arrested.

Is it a question of justice
or is it just us?

More than a month ago, as I
hugged my son to sleep,
another mother relived moments
of street shadow. She sought
support. Other mothers
joined her, a march
of a million hoodies.

We will continue to hold hands
on this journey, white, black,
Hispanic, Latino. We will march
and march and march until
the right thing is done.

As I diapered my honey-haired boy,
a thousand mothers marched, not just
for one boy. They marched
for their own sons, for all
mothers. My heart
marched with them.

There are many that get emotional.
There are many that get it wrong.
We are not in the business of revenge.
We're in the business of justice.

The moment that became a movement
brought legal eyes to look. They saw
cause, and leveled charges. Justice's
rusted wheel creaked forward.

One mother took the microphone. With eyes
full of sadness, she called a nation
to patience. Who knows what scenes
of breakfast bundling will
march with her, now and always.

As we were, as we are, as we will be.

- April 13, 2012

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 13th, 2012 06:23 pm (UTC)
Very expressive! Almost welling up myself.
Apr. 13th, 2012 06:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I was thinking it was too obvious and overwrought, but I thought I ought to just write what I was thinking. All the phrases in italics come from either Trayvon's parents or other commentators reacting to the arrest.
Apr. 13th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
I really like how you related it to your own mothering journey. And I also like how you pointed out, those who march march for all sons, everywhere.

I wrote a poem about this a few weeks back but I really like yours better.

This poem is well-woven and strong. Thanks for sharing!
Apr. 13th, 2012 06:35 pm (UTC)
If your poem is available online, please share the link with me. I must have missed it.

Thanks for the positive feedback. I think I could probably do more with this, but I might need a little distance on it. Even though I am not involved in anyway, I feel very emotionally involved in it. I don't think any mother can see something like this happen and not be moved.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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