Dear poets – Jaha’s World Black Woman Blogger – ‎Jaha Zainabu.

Dear poets

Don’t set out to write the poem that will change the world
The world will be here, or not
Create the poem that will describe the moment
As only you can
The moments will surely disappear
See your vantage point imperative to the story
Necessary to the now
Use everything about you to tell your truth
Your story
How does this moment rub across your sensibilities
As you walk on the beach
Comb your hair
Drive your nephew to school
Watch the old man miss the bus
There is a particular way you see the world
That no one else can
Because only you are where you are
At any given time
There is a way a woman can talk about
Queen Vashti from the pulpit
That a man will never know
I don’t care how called he is
A heterosexual woman can describe
What it is like to be a homosexual man in the army
But never like he can
No matter her skill set as a storyteller
There is a KNOWing missing
We devalue the simple in the every day
We spend too much time not sweating the small stuff
We miss the poetry that only it can create
It did mean something to you
When she said no
When he ignored you
When there was no more Hawaiian bread at the corner store
It meant something
And there was a prose you created
A haiku you hiccuped
That you kept to yourself
That you let disappear
That had you given story
To that small moment
Could have given you access
To the why of another moment
And unlocked another
Also small and buried
Also a piece to the puzzle called you
Called humanity
We don’t write because
We weigh the small moments against
The few major events in our lives
You will never write if you weigh each moment
Against your mother’s death
Your father’s cancer
The birth of your son
Your daughter’s wedding
There is a way your head feels
Pressed on your chin
Heavy on the table
As you are deep in thought about
I don’t know
There is always something going on in your head
There is never nothing to write about
There is always only something we want to hide
Something we don’t want the world
Or our journals to know
Something we want to forget
Then rewrite that and change the ending
Go to the mall
Ride a bus
There is a man
Who sleeps in the cold
On a bench next to the welfare office
Pay him twenty dollars for an hour of his story
But write
Write about why the television has to be on
In the middle of the night
Because the voices in your head keep…
Keep keeping
O that thing
That thing inside us with her sweet little song
That gently reminds us that no one wants to hear
About scary voices and Hawaiian bread
About stepped on pinky toes and the extra twelve pounds
Thank her
She means well
She means well
And she is keeping you small

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