National Poetry Month

Inspired by Black History month, The Academy of American Poets  worked with a variety of interested parties including teachers, publishers, booksellers, librarians, and of course poets to figure out the many ways poetry could be celebrated.  They concluded April was a great month for the celebration, and on April 1, 1996, President Bill Clinton proclaimed April to be National Poetry Month. 

 

Following the Academy’s lead, Writers’ Morning Out has posted a poem-a-day during April since WMO’s inception in 2010.

“Peanut Grace” by Tom Dow

 

In the shouts and shrieks of the high school hallway

outside the cafeteria the bigger guy turns me into

the wall and traps me with a hand on either side of my neck

 

his face in mine speaks tense and low, breath

full of peanut butter.  I heard you’re asking questions

about me.  Why?  I couldn’t  even stammer a denial

 

afraid he was going to punch me anyway, how long

would he wait before just beating me up?  I couldn’t

look at him above the blue and orange striped

 

shirt (I loved his shirts).  If you want to know something

ask me.  And then he just left.  No blood or bruises, I was

just stunned and ashamed I’d been found out, I did want

 

to know who he was and why, even with such fear, I was

drawn to his confidence, now even more with his sudden

mercy, since at home all was resolved with screams

 

and slammed doors.  This, this a turning point years

from realization:  a gift recalled even decades later

in this Thai restaurant, the peanut sauce.

 

“Peanut Grace” first appeared in Tar River Poetry

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