What May Save Your Soul

Hounds steal fresh baked pies from the kitchen counters of harried widows, still poetry is written …

Pride, what is that?

Prometheus on fire screams from the depths of hell
and must write poetry
Prisoners cannot finish their meals of flesh and marrow
but must write poetry
Ahab prowls the wooden midnight deck of his rare old Pequod
and must write poetry
Barrio children watch while others play
and must write poetry
Masons chisel eternal faces from the living stone
but must write poetry
A savior hangs naked and crucified for two-thousand years
and must write poetry

Hounds steal fresh baked pies
from the kitchen counters of harried widows
still poetry is written
Mighty machines rumble and grind and fall from the sky
still poetry is written
Madmen patrol uncrowded and lamplit streets at dawn
still poetry is written
Ancient messages in your dreams whisper vile histories unknown
still poetry is written

Pride, what is that?

pride is a human chain of Negroes linked
hands on wrists and finger to finger
under shameful baptism of Birmingham water cannons
pride refuses a white-whiskered dog lost in the woods to howl
pride dams the river that overflows its banks
pride is the leather of a young father’s empty wallet on Christmas Eve
pride accompanies the silence of Napoleon’s bicep
no longer able to signal a charge
pride watched the angels fly from the decks of the Lusitania
pride saw the first guards posted at the gates of paradise

Pride, what is that?

Pride is nothing and something
Pride will only get you into trouble
it won’t pay the rent
it will stomp on your head and pull out your tongue
it will always be there when you don’t need it
and least expect it
but it just may save your goddamn soul

Pride, what is that?
Pride is poetry
This is a poem

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