Try Or Die

This gargantuan blood stain 
that we call a nation
covers a landscape of long-ago love and sex,
generations working through sorrow and laughter.

By this rock someone once offered a prayer
for forgiveness for the hurt they’d given to another.

That prayer is still here, drowned in blood.
Some of us are trying to clean it off and let it fly
and add our own prayers for what we’ve done
and what’s been done in our name,

using words so browned and hardened
they can barely rise; but still, we try. It’s that, or die.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

One response to “Try Or Die

  • Eileen

    Yes. Even though we may not be able to see what our tiny efforts mean in the long term scheme of things. It’s the trying that matters, because we touch lives when we try and there is a ripple effect we seldom get to see. My deepest sorrow has come from the loneliness of not connecting on levels that mean the most to me. Your poetry keeps me from feeling alone on those levels and often is the boost I need to just keep on keeping on. I pray I do that for a few others, though my readers are few and my writing and speaking is for a different kind of audience generally. I figure if I’m still here at an age no one else in my family managed to live to, there’s some purpose even when I can’t see it.

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