Wise Poets – Tracy K Smith – Time

In recognition of Black History Month, Transformation Publications will present poems, essays, and other artistic creations by Black artists, musicians, and writers.

Tracy K Smith (April 16, 1972 -)

They’re gassing geese outside of JFK.
Tehran will likely fill up soon with blood
The Times is getting smaller day by day.

We’ve learned to back away from all we say
And, more or less, agree with what we should.
Whole flocks are being gassed near JFK.

So much of what we’re asked is to obey—
A reflex we’d abandon if we could.
The Times reported 19 dead today.

They’re going to make the opposition pay.
(If you’re sympathetic, knock on wood.)
The geese were terrorizing JFK.

Remember how they taught you once to pray?
Eyes closed, on your knees, to any god?
Sometimes, small minds seem to take the day.

Election fraud. A migratory plague.
Less and less surprises us as odd.
We dislike what they did at JFK.
Our time is brief. We dwindle by the day.

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Listen to Jia Tolentino reading Tracy K Smith’s poem “Solstice”  here.

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Photo Credit: ”The Lovers” by Jacob Lawrence (September 7, 1917 – June 9, 2000).

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Listen to Billie Holiday sing Strange Fruit here.

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On This Day, February 11, 1958, Ruth Carol Taylor was the first black woman to become a stewardess by making her initial flight.

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On This Day, February 11, 1990, Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years in captivity.