Poetry: Let Daylight Come by Antoinette Brim

Poet Antoinette Brim, author of Psalm of the Sunflower, was part of the Willow Books Reading at Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness in 2010. Her poem “Let Daylight Come” ran recently in Split This Rock’s Poem of the Week.

Let Daylight Come (Little Rock, circa 2008)
–after Jane Kenyon

Let the moon untangle itself
from the clothesline, as coming daylight
diminishes its lamp to memory.

Let the cicada vow silence
as a woman stirs her grits
and beats her eggs. Let daylight come.

Let school children shuffle into yellow
buses. Let the asphalt roll out black
into the distance. Let daylight come.

Let the dew dry to ash on the brow
of a man. Let traffic thunder across
the overpass above his head. Let daylight come.

To his bottle in the ditch, to his cardboard
and crayon, to the cough in his lungs,
let daylight come.

Let it come, as it will, and don’t
be afraid. This, too, is the day
the Lord has made, so let daylight come.
–Antoinette Brim

Brim is a Cave Canem Foundation fellow, a recipient of the Walker Foundation Scholarship to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has appeared in various journals, magazines and anthologies. Used by permission from Split This Rock Poem of the Week. We just ask you to include all of the information in this email, including this request. Contact Split This Rock at 202-787-5210 or [email protected]

Poetry: ‘If You Leave Your Shoes’ by Joseph Ross

My friend Joe Ross has written a provocative and stunning poem in reaction to the new immigration laws Arizona is about to enact.

Joseph Ross is a poet, working in Washington, D.C., whose poems have been published in many journals and anthologies including Poetic Voices Without Borders 1 and 2, Poet Lore, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and Full Moon on K Street.

Joe co-edited with me Cut Loose the Body: An Anthology of Poems on Torture and Fernando Botero’s Abu Ghraib for D.C. Poets Against the War. He has given readings in Washington, D.C.’s Miller Cabin Poetry Series and in the Library of Congress’ Poetry-at-Noon Series. He teaches in the College Writing Program at American University in Washington, D.C. I’m grateful to Split This Rock for posting Joe’s poem.

If You Leave Your Shoes
A Response to Arizona’s Law SB 1070
by Joseph Ross

If you leave your shoes
on the front porch
when you run

to the city pool
for swimming lessons,
you might end up

walking across the sand
of the desert in
scorched feet,

bare, like the prophets,
who knew what it was
to burn.

If you leave your lover
to run to the market
for bread and pears

you might return
to find your lover
gone and the bed

covered with knives,
hot and gleaming from
a morning in the sun.

If you leave your country
in the wrong hands,
you might return to

see it drowning in blood,
able to spit
but not to speak.

Joe Ross appeared on the panel Gay and Lesbian Poetry in the 40th Year Since Stonewall: History, Craft, Equality during Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation and Witness 2010. Find out more about Split This Rock.