A poem a day in April from Rutgers English PhD students and friends.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Draft (unsent)

Hey niece
Who lives in Baltimore
Whose school must have been closed today
We don’t talk much
I mean, I have your email, but you’re a teenager
And I’m a young aunt, but not a cool one
More like the nerdy aunt with bad shoes
Your mom hopes and fears you are not too much like

What do you think of the riots? what do you say about Freddie Gray?
What do you and your friends (who I remember, shrieking in the rec room)
Think? What do you say to each other?

When I was your age, we thought it was cool to be “color-blind”
But then, looking at my high school photos, “all your friends are white”
Nothing to see here
We said, gay rights is the civil rights struggle of our day, but even that not till college
Black lives matter is the civil rights struggle of today
Is that what you would say?

What would you say to me, if I sent you this email
Instead of making this poem?
I’m afraid I’m afraid to ask

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