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Poem: "Stronger Than Concrete" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Stronger Than Concrete"
Valentine's Day is often considered a romantic holiday, but I like to broaden it to love in general. So the freebie poem for today's fishbowl deals with different kinds of familial love. It was inspired by a picture and a traditional poem posted to therebirthofme today.


Stronger Than Concrete


Hey, Black Child,
Do you know that brick wall
Is mostly made of empty space, ‘stead of bricks?
Do you know those bits
Bounce around like balls and jacks on a playground
And you can make them do tricks if you just think how?

Hey, Black Child,
Do you know why the sidewalk cracks
More’n’more next to the empty lot?
Do you know that roots are stronger than concrete
And just heave it up out of their way –
That they could hide this whole city in a hundred years?

Hey, Black Child,
Do you know what else
Seems like empty space but ain’t
And is stronger than concrete
And older than the forests of Africa?

Hey, Black Child,
Look up yonder at your momma
Hanging laundry high overhead,
Stringing out blue jeans and white towels.
Look at her belly rounding out like a ball –
You got a little brother or sister coming soon,
Someone for you to help look after.

Hey, Black Child,
How does that make you feel,
Not to be the littlest no more?
Did you know that hanging laundry in the wind
Is good for the world that babies get to grow up in?
Did you know that brick walls and tree roots all got their place
And someday it’ll be up to you to set the balance?

Hey, Black Child,
How you gonna do all that?
I’ll tell you – it’s that thing
Emptier than air and older than Africa,
Stronger than concrete and Kingdom Come –
That thing is love, Black Child.
Love can do any thing.
Just ask your momma.

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8 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
flutterbychild From: flutterbychild Date: February 11th, 2009 06:59 am (UTC) (Link)
This...is love. Love!

:D
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 11th, 2009 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Yay!

I'm so glad you're pleased with it! I wanted to capture the mood of the painting, that balance between constraint and freedom, practicality and dream-chasing, individuality and family.
flutterbychild From: flutterbychild Date: February 11th, 2009 11:42 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yay!

Is it okay if I link here from the post at therebirthofme?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 11th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yay!

Yes, please! I should have done that in my note; sorry I forgot.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: February 11th, 2009 08:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Cool!
From: browngirl Date: February 11th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, beautifully done. You're truly a mistress of language.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 11th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm glad that this poem is getting favorable feedback. It's a study in contrasts, and it kind of goes out on a limb ... but that's where the fruit is, eh?
lizamanynames From: lizamanynames Date: February 11th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
DAMN. That is beautiful. Deeply moving.
8 comments or Leave a comment