Poem as part of an online poetry collection for "Hope And Her Two Daughters"experimental exhibition exploring the question “What next?” following the racial unrest of 2020. The collection can be found here.
I won’t settle at crooked buildings, misaligned intentions,
Nor will I halt at broken dreams spread across streets
Like shattered jars losing hold of hope and hunger;
I will pick up its pieces and regather the strength to believe
That these pavements will be safe for all,
Safe enough to stop minorities fall through its gaps;
It took more than one group to build this community,
Yet this city has been torn in two for too long,
Like Montagues and Capulets absent of a love story,
Tipped to benefit one more than the other;
The good and bad; rich and poor; stuffed and starved;
He sailed over from his home island to help build another,
Yet still feels the aftertaste of cold greetings years on;
She works day and night to carry her family of three,
Yet hardly finds rest, just to make ends meet;
He was born here, young, with brown skin as bright as gold,
Yet jumps over countless profiles that aren’t his own;
She speaks four languages, maneuvering four streams on her tongue,
Yet is bullied for her errors and foreign sound;
They are the families sidelined, marginalised, downtrodden;
How can anger marry courage when circumstance continues to sabotage it?
Trying to silence the conversation of hope
We must refuse the urge to say “life just is meant to be like this”
And instead enquire of justice as a lifeline for those who need it;
If anger be the starting point, may courage step in as its other half,
Climbing over walls that barricade sight of a better future;
Let courage see the speck of light in hurt and hardship;
Let courage plan, bring together, legislate;
Let it spur you to keep at your passion;
When anger clouds the way, let courage hold up the vision;
Remind you that there is a cause, a journey to push on.
Cover photo credit to the exhibition and rightful owner.