Monday, October 08, 2007


"Who's been taken from you?"
Leeka and Aisha asked
as we walk to my house
after school today.

I took them home to do
homework, give them a snack
as my first official duty
as mentor.

"Who's been taken?
You know, not from
getting old or dying regular
but taken away with a gun
or something."

No one, I say.

"No one? Really?"

To have a conversation
about not if
you've lost someone to violence
but how many people you've lost
with two eleven year olds
makes you pause.

"I think the world is really good,"
Leeka says, "and really bad too."

Yeah, I say.

Because there should not be
so much grief
in one neighborhood,
in one city
there should not be children
who know so many murders
that it is normal

the world tilts on its side
in the sky
the planets are falling
but the street
thinks there's nothing

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Blogger Kathleen said...

you have two sweet mentees!
even though they are in 6th grade, they're still so little!

2:21 PM  
Blogger jen said...

em, we've lost touch. and yet here you are writing so beautifully. i switched to google reader awhile back and your posts didn't link up right, i'd wondered what happened and then here you are, and i've missed so much.

am fixing that now.

1:10 AM  
Blogger Hel said...


How beautiful.

7:10 AM  
Blogger KMS said...

What a beautiful punch in the gut...

10:30 PM  
Anonymous my backyard said...

so sad

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice one Em!
xoxo, A

11:51 PM  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Wow you write so powerfully so simply. Direct hits. And I know it's all real. You are an inspiration.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Dick said...

Using the simplest & most direct of language, this piece has enormous impact. Very powerful.

3:45 AM  
Blogger angela said...

hope the school year is going well for you. miss seeing your words out here.

8:24 AM  
Blogger twitches said...

I like this. Good to see you're still writing!

10:43 AM  
Blogger January said...

Love this, and your last stanza is brilliant.

12:01 AM  
Blogger KMS said...

Um...I know you don't have your reading classes right now. WE WANT MORE POEMS! saith your adoring fans!

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please start writing, I miss you so.

8:25 PM  
Blogger flyinamber said...

I wish you a very happy new year,Emily!

12:54 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

Wow! This is one powerful piece of poetry. It really touched me.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Fireblossom said...

I love that last stanza.

This makes me think of the song "Mad World."

11:06 AM  

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