What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
Like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
Like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
As a boy I shared a game with my father
Played it every morning ’til I was 3
He would knock knock on my door
And I’d pretend to be asleep
’til he got right next to the bed
Then I would get up and jump into his arms
“Good morning, Papa.”
And my papa he would tell me that he loved me
We shared a game
Until that day when the knock never came
And my momma takes me on a ride past corn fields
On this never ending highway ’til we reach a place of high
A confused little boy
I entered the building carried in my mama’s arms
Continue reading “Knock Knock by Daniel Beaty”
Twenty-eight shotgun pellets
crater my thighs, belly and groin.
I gently thumb each burnt bead,
fingering scabbed stubs with ointment.
Continue reading “From Violence to Peace (Excerpt)”
Haikus published in the NY Times, fall 2016
On the 6 to Spring
two cops help a tourist whose
map is upside down
–Frances Richey, 63, Manhattan
Continue reading “New York City in 17 Syllables”
by Taylor Mali (www.taylormali.com)
Sunday nights I lie awake—
as all teachers do—
and wait for sleep to come
like the last student in my class to arrive.
My grading is done, my lesson plans are in order,
and still sleep wanders the hallways like Lower School music.
I’m a teacher. This is what I do.
Like a builder builds, or a sculptor sculpts,
a preacher preaches, and a teacher teaches.
This is what we do.
We are experts in the art of explanation:
I know the difference between questions
to answer and questions to ask.
Continue reading “Miracle Workers”