Poem: Tick. Tick. Tick.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Ignore me long enough
and I will become angry.
Unbecomingly angry.

I will not argue if it is rational.
I know it is not. But it is human
and I am certainly that, More so
perhaps, than some, certainly
more so than I am allowed.

Continue. Stifle me. Talk over me.
Pretend nothing I say matters,
and I am not completely responsible for my actions.

I have been fortunate.
I am white. Reasonably educated.
Well spoken. Mostly
I have had jobs. My time in poverty
was relatively short, my hard work aided
by the dumb luck of birth.

I hate violence. I hate anger.
but I understand it. And I understand its roots.
What I do not understand is why,
when we all do, we continue to plant more.
We choose to ignore the flames
until they consume us.

And so I sit in my corner of the world.
Slowly singing from my soapbox, ignored
by the ones who need the song most, unaware
the pressure is building. The anger.
Even in the likes of me.

About this poem

This poem will end up in the book I am writing but will never publish, called, in my head, “Things the Preacher Is Not Allowed to Say”. Most of the poems in that book will not appear here.

The picture was taken in Saint Louis. Many of the themes in the graffiti are quiet just now, but that does not mean we have dealt with them. They simmer still.

Tom

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