Published on Academy of American Poets (

praise poets and their pens

dedicated to my 30/30 crew

praise daily poems in my inbox
how they make me laugh in one stanza,
then break my heart the next
praise how poets hold onto our first loves,
and scent of mama, now gone
praise how we nurture our child self,
gently wrap her around stanzas,
baby girl is resilient
praise our spunk and our sadness,
let our writing heal
at home, at work, in cafés, even in the ICU
praise how we hold our memories up to light,
gentle and cupped in palm of hands
praise our rough and sexy poems,
sometimes that’s all we need
fiyah in the sheets
praise bebop and jazz
how my foot taps when i
speak your poems out loud
praise power of music and mama
who played Nancy Wilson all night long,
crying behind a closed door.
praise how i wrote a new poem this week,
while my sick child laid on my lap,
because everyone needs to heal, especially mamas.


Copyright © 2017 by JP Howard. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 13, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This poem was inspired by the poets in my National Poetry Month 30/30 poem a day writing group. When you are writing with a group of poets daily for thirty days what comes to mind is both how vulnerable and resilient we are as a people. Recently there has been so much loss in my poetry community and many of the poets were mothers, so re-reading their poems feels like a gift that I get to keep, even when the poet is no longer physically with us.”
—JP Howard


JP Howard

JP Howard is the author of SAY/MIRROR (The Operating System, 2015), which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award.

Date Published: 2017-09-13

Source URL: