A reminder that the next Art of Poetry is fast approaching! The deadline to submit your work for consideration is June 7. The reading will be June 21 at 2:00. Click https://artofpoetry.net/2014/03/17/art-of-poetry-submission-details-announced-for-june-21-reading/ for eligible exhibits and submission guidelines.
Elizabeth Catlett, Sharecropper, linocut
after “Sharecropper” by Elizabeth Catlett
They play with words, use kind ones
to soften the hard truth. Ain’t nothing
about the work we do that feels like
we’re sharing anything with anybody.
Instead, we work sunup to sundown,
sweating and toiling, trying to make
something grow from this rocky soil,
red clay that ain’t ever gonna be ours.
We curse the sun blazing down us,
then curse the rain that always comes
when we need it least, churning mud,
washing away a whole week’s work.
We long ago quit hoping for harvest
enough to put us ahead, for rest,
for our name on something our own,
not just the tally of what we owe.
For now, we keep telling our stories,
teach the young’uns all of our songs,
and despite our fears, we feed them
hope, we nourish them with dreams.