And so this time I listened
Stopped the madness playing
In my mind and listened to its voice
Strong, clear, defined
Jumping from place to place
As though anxiously looking
For a safety net to gather its shattered pieces
Frame it, display it, have people walk by
Study it, marvel it, contemplate, remember it
Pull it up from beneath the dread of day and praise it

The night’s rain spoke just the same
As if it was day and so I listened
To it fall without appointment, warning
Direction, expectation, beckoning
It fell in trust, in love
Releasing its fear and feelings
And need to be right
I listened, wondered
What lessons it was to teach me
It called me by name
Each syllable flowing slowly
Like honey over sweet potatoes
I listened unaware that it too
Had been listening
To me                us

It laughed in my face
At what we were defining
As knowledge, truth, God
Still steps behind, ignorant
Of what slow motions our
Minds make deliberating, debating, dissecting
What it means to be here today
You’re asking me about freedom

And so I listened
Stopped playing life
Looked up to rain’s descent and prayed
For mercy to fall on me
To pass the brick walls and ceiling windows
To fall on me
To pass the guilt and contradictions
The ego and defenses
To fall on me
To pass the confusion and unrealized possibilities
To fall on my tongue
Allow me to taste something pure and holy
Have it pound on my body
Allow me to be re-birthed and enter again
And so today I listened
And it said

Peace be still


Jacinta V. White is a NC Arts Council Teaching Artist and the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships for creative endeavors. She founded The Word Project, a company dedicated to using poetry as a catalyst for personal and community healing.


:: more from this issue ::

Four Poems

Tania Nwachukwu



Two Poems

Amber Atiya



Rage in Color

A. Montgomery



Nocturnes

Abdul Ali


Three Poems

Hanif Abdurraqib



Letter Twelve

Ekere Tallie



Three Poems

Rachel Long



Re: Surrender

Yona Harvey


Genesis

Jacinta White



Three Poems

Derrick Weston Brown



Zenah

Cheyenne Varner



Is It Sweet?

Athena Dixon