would you be a lender
if it coincided with war
could you be sure your tenderness
came from more than envy
should you have amended
those rules that bound you
would you have descended
from behind that leaden war
could you foresee
how slender my heart
should you then doubt
my fear of deep intention
would you be more
than the commended old wrong
would you be still
my song of snow in sight
would you be
the provision in the sky
would you know more
than a law a weight
a mended wall that wood
Copyright © 2017 by Mia You. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 24, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
The best part
is when we’re tired
of it all
in the same degree,
a fatigue we imagine
to be temporary,
and we lie near each other,
What’s done is done,
we don’t say,
to begin our transaction,
each letting go of something
bringing it to mind
until we’re lighter,
and a current
runs between us
where our toes touch.
It feels unconditional.
Remember this, we don't say:
The Little Mermaid
was able to absorb
to form legs.
This meant that
and that everything is played out
Copyright © 2015 by Rae Armantrout. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 3, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.
To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,
The inquisition yet would serve the law,
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare, must speak and speak again
To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
No vested power in this great day and land
Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry
Loud disapproval of existing ills;
May criticise oppression and condemn
The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
That let the children and childbearers toil
To purchase ease for idle millionaires.
Therefore I do protest against the boast
Of independence in this mighty land.
Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link.
Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave.
Until the manacled slim wrists of babes
Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee,
Until the mother bears no burden, save
The precious one beneath her heart, until
God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
And given back to labor, let no man
Call this the land of freedom.
This poem is in the public domain.