Now the flowers are all folded
And the dark is going by. 
The evening is arising…
It is time to rest.
When I am sleeping
I find my pillow full of dreams. 
They are all new dreams:
No one told them to me
Before I came through the cloud. 
They remember the sky, my little dreams,
They have wings, they are quick, they are sweet. 
Help me tell my dreams 
To the other children, 
So that their bread may taste whiter, 
So that the milk they drink 
May make them think of meadows
In the sky of stars. 
Help me give bread to the other children
So that their dreams may come back:
So they will remember what they knew 
Before they came through the cloud.
Let me hold their little hands in the dark, 
The lonely children,
The babies that have no mothers any more. 
Dear God, let me hold up my silver cup 
For them to drink, 
And tell them the sweetness 
Of my dreams. 

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on March 8, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets. 

These, fast asleep in such a little room,
The tawdry grave-wreaths crackling over them,
Might have been men who would have moved the world,
Might have been women, mothers of a race
More great than we can know. The could not live:
We have to build great armaments to fight
Forests of things half man, half animal,
Far in the islands that our trading needs:
We have to build high palaces to keep
White childless women merry and content:
We have no money left to save for these,
These, only little children, only poor,
Life in the heats; we have no place to spare
That they could play in …. Yet we need not grieve,
Not more than they, asleep. We need not grieve
Even for those of them who have not died,
For they, made warped and blind by circumstance
Shall live their round from stupid day to day,
Too dull to know a need; and they shall bear
Dull, blinded folk to rule this world of ours
We shall have died from. Do not mourn for these:
Mourn for that sorry world that still shall be,
Made by our careless hands that make today
These little children so to live or die. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

She, being the midwife
and your mother’s
longtime friend, said
I see a heart; can you
see it? And on the grey
display of the ultrasound
there you were as you were,
our nugget, in that moment
becoming a shrimp
or a comma punctuating
the whole of my life, separating
its parts—before and after—,
a shrimp in the sea
of your mother, and I couldn’t
help but see the fast
beating of your heart
translated on that screen
and think and say to her,
to the room, to your mother,
to myself It looks like
a twinkling star.
I imagine I’m not
the first to say that either.
Unlike the first moments
of my every day,
the new of seeing you was the first
—deserving of the definite article—
moment I saw a star
at once so small and so
big, so close and getting closer
every day, I pray.

Copyright © 2019 by Sean Hill. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 13, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.


I am
14 years of age, only ⅕ of the average female lifespan,
and I’m tired, exhausted, to the point where my eyes are barely open.
when they do close
If they do
I will let it go
let go
like most of the country
I’m tired
of people with badges taking others lives
I’m tired of the Law backing them up
I’m tired of the National Guard using guns to solve every “problem”
I’m tired of never getting justice
for killing the innocent
Open your eyes. Wake up. This could happen, will continue to happen, unless we put a stop to it.
Let those four
who were shot
at Kent State
finally achieve justice
by not letting this happen again
The Law needs justice too.


Winner of Wick Poetry Center's 2020 Peace Poem contest. © Rachael Lang. Published by the Academy of American Poets on January 28, 2020.  

Rutherford Elementary

When Mark Nicholson spilled his milk on me—a slosh
across my lap—the teacher let me tip the rest
on him, then slipped me in some spare jeans in her closet,
and that was that. From then on, teacher’s pet.

Carroll Toddy fell out the back of a swing that fall,
knocked him out, left a knot on his round head
like a horn. On cold days, our teams devolved
to backwards tag, the boy with the ball running the field,

and all the rest after him—smear the queer—trying
to tag or tackle him. No way to win. Tagged, he’d toss
the ball, lob it in the mob of us, or hurl it high—
snag it and you’re it—scramble past, run cross

the yard. No out of bounds, no teams, no rules,
until the bell called us back inside for school.

From Nest (Salmon Poetry, 2014). Copyright © 2014 by Ed Madden. Used with the permission of the poet.