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Poem-A-Day

Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year. On weekdays, poems are accompanied by exclusive commentary by the poets. The series highlights classic poems on weekends. Launched in 2006, Poem-a-Day is now distributed via email, web, and social media to 350,000+ readers free of charge and is available for syndication. For more information about how to syndicate Poem-a-Day, contact [email protected].

Children Listen

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, June 19, 2018.
About this Poem 

“Stevie Wonder. Czesław Miłosz. Stanisław Wyspiański. Solmaz Sharif. Palestine. Kazimierz. Langston Hughes. Wisława Szymborska. Kraków. The poem is holding many conversations at once. Hopefully, one of them is with you. I wrote this poem for the children that have yet to be born, which is what I believe all writing is for—the future, both near and far.”
—Roger Reeves

Children Listen

                It turns out however that I was deeply
Mistaken about the end of the world
        	The body in flames will not be the body
In flames but just a house fire ignored
        	The black sails of that solitary burning
Boat rubbing along the legs of lovers
        	Flung into a Roman sky by a carousel
The lovers too sick in their love
        	To notice a man drenched in fire on a porch
Or a child aflame mistaken for a dog
        	Mistaken for a child running to tell of a bomb
That did not knock before it entered
        	In Gaza with its glad tidings of abundant joy  	
In Kazimierz a god is weeping
        	In a window one golden hand raised
Above his head as if he’s slipped
        	On the slick rag of the future our human
Kindnesses unremarkable as the flies
        	Rubbing their legs together while standing
On a slice of cantaloupe Children
        	You were never meant to be human
You must be the grass
        	You must grow wildly over the graves

Copyright © 2018 by Roger Reeves. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 19, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2018 by Roger Reeves. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 19, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.