Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Poem of the Week: Reginald Harris

for Shara McCallum

walk long enough

with a pebble in your shoe

and walking with a pebble becomes


you no longer notice

the discomfort
...........the limp is just
another thing to live with
pain just another fact of life

until someone you haven’t seen for a time

asks......Why are you limping
and you remember

Oh yes, that’s right

I have a pebble in my shoe

and then what do you do

take it out
.......leave it in because
you are used to its dull and constant ache
do not want to learn how to walk properly again

live long enough

with war

and it becomes

men and women you don’t know –

someone else’s children –

fly off the edges of the map

to places you were never taught existed

photos of the dead close out
nightly news programs
.........a familiar tag-
line as the anchor signs off

until tomorrow

images of troops march across

a strange topography....the sound of guns

going off in places so distant

you hardly notice
........ one barely hears a noise

until someone says
We’ve been at war my entire adult life

and you remember

Oh, yes, that’s right

there IS a war still going on

And then what do you do?

-Reginald Harris

Used by permission.

Poetry in the Branches Coordinator for Poets House in New York City, Reginald Harris was a Finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and the ForeWord Book of the Year for 10 Tongues: Poems (2001). A Pushcart Prize Nominee and recipient of Individual Artist Awards for both poetry and fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council, his work has appeared in numerous journals, anthologies, and other publications. Contributor to LGBTQ America Today: An Encyclopedia (2008), he is currently pretending to work on two manuscripts.

Harris was on the panels Gay and Lesbian Poetry in the 40th Year Since Stonewall: History, Craft, Equality and Black LGBTQ Writing as Agents of Change at Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness 2010.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rock on Mr. H!