Poem: A Matter of Timing

A Matter of Timing

You smile at the wall of graffiti, stopping
to read every word.
No codes or gang signs here,
there are anthems to love and loss,
cries of pain and anger, life stories
that deserved to be read, hearts
spilling out in color and line and words
meant to be listened to.

How long, you wonder, did this take,
and how long, you wonder,
did it take before the courage to paint out loud
overcome the fear of doing just that,
and why, you wonder,
did it take you so long?

About this poem.

The picture was taken in Saint Louis.

I have a weakness for graffiti.

Life has been a progression of learning to speak out.

From all that, this poem.



  1. My habit of stopping to admire graffiti is well known among my family. I’ve been known to drive multiple times around city blocks to find a spot to park (even if metered) to get a closer look.

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