The reason I have The Poetry Foundation’s ‘Poem of the Day’ feature on my RSS is that I get to read a whole range of things, some known and revisited, some that I wouldn’t come across otherwise. Jamaal May (short biog here) wrote this in 2014 and it falls into the latter category.
Yes it’s poetry but don’t be afraid of the word baggage there, it’s a short, easily digested and thought-provoking read. A good place to put your brain on this pleasant and sunny Sunday morning.
There are birds here,so many birds hereis what I was trying to saywhen they said those birds
were metaphorsfor what is trappedbetween buildingsand buildings. No.The birds are hereto root around for breadthe girl’s hands tearand toss like confetti. No,I don’t mean the bread is
torn like cotton,I said confetti, and nonot the confettia tank can make of a
building.I mean the confettia boy can’t stop smiling
aboutand no his smile isn’t muchlike a skeleton at all. And
nohis neighborhood is not like
a war zone.I am trying to sayhis neighborhoodis as tattered and featheredas anything else,as shadow pierced by sunand light partedby shadow-dance as anything
else,but they won’t stop sayinghow lovely the ruins,how ruined the lovely
children must be in that