#BelieveInMagic Day 4: I Will Never Write A Poem About Race, by Mary Ann Domanska (plus Book Giveaway!)

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I Will Never Write A Poem About Race

I will never write a poem about race
Because I am unqualified
Because I am from the south and may be judged accordingly
Because home was a meandering place
++++++Twisting me in its sticky doldrum days

I will never write a poem about race
Because I have family members who are blatantly racist
++++++Proud hicks who discriminate and harbor ill will,
++++++wrapping their chests in it like a bullet proof vest
++++++to protect them against the Mexicans and blacks
++++++who took away their low wage and menial jobs.

And my stomach churns when I hear their vile spew
A tune you can only feel while writhing through childhood
++++++Scattered among us there are still remnants of its brutal song
This arachnid poised above our vision of equality
Poisoning us with its grim and stupid ideologies
++++++Raking over the stretched out tendons, tender and raw

I will never write a poem about Sheldon because he lies in ambush,
++++++in memory, elastic and lost to middle school days.
He was my first crush and he was mixed race
++++++and my parents still don’t know about him.

And I will never pen the joy I felt when my daughter brought home
++++++the first boy for us to meet
and he had caramel colored skin and the blackest of eyes.
++++++I could see by their glowing and his charming smile she could not resist

And I will never tell her how proud of her I was and of the joy that blushed in me
as my husband showed kindness and was welcoming
because I had no idea how he would react.
++++++Like silk music when threads are plucked,
++++++There was some kind of justice here, a retelling of the story

I recalled the angst I felt when Sheldon asked me to the school dance
and I knew I had to tell him no,
leaping unfortunate only to twist into tighter knots,
I hated myself for this.
And for years I cast my eyes downward when I passed him in the hallways.


Mary Ann is giving away a signed copy of her poetry collection, Unraveled. If you’d like to win, add a comment below! The giveaway contest is open until February 28, so get those comments rolling in! Winners for all giveaways will be announced in March.


Mary Ann Domanska is a 2nd grade teacher at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia, PA., where she has taught for the past fourteen years. Mary Ann earned a BFA in Performing Arts with a minor in creative writing from Emerson College in Boston, studying with the notable Latino poet, Martín Espada, and Kristin Linklater, author of Freeing the Natural VoiceHer middle grade novel, Emic Rizzle, Tinkerer, was released through Mnemosyne Books in December 2016, and she has published a poetry collection, Unraveled, with Moonstone Arts Center (Philadelphia).

For more information on Mary Ann, please follow her at: http://maryanndomanska.wordpress.com.

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6 Responses to #BelieveInMagic Day 4: I Will Never Write A Poem About Race, by Mary Ann Domanska (plus Book Giveaway!)

  1. Judith Wright Aplin says:

    Such powerful words..such powerful thoughts. I, too, write poetry and I so appreciate what you have written. Thank you!

  2. Kara Newhouse says:

    Wow, what a story. Told in powerful verse. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Judith is right, POWERFUL is the perfect word to describe your poem. I can feel a lifetime worth of experience in your words. I’d love to win a copy of your book to read more of your work. If only the main character could magically go back in time to share her pain and shame with Sheldon.

  4. Kristen C.S. says:

    Really gut-level honest. It’s wonderful that you gave voice to what many–who are not born of minority race–feel, but don’t feel allowed to say. =)

  5. Mary Ann, you’ve captured so much emotion in so few lines – the mark of an excellent poet. Thank you for sharing, and for bravely and beautifully tackling a difficult subject.

  6. Pingback: #BelieveInMagic Day 4: I Will Never Write A Poem About Race, by Mary Ann Domanska (plus Book Giveaway!) | Writing a Middle Grade Novel

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