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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Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 200 new, previously unpublished poems by today's talented poets each year.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].

Defiant

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, May 22, 2018.
About this Poem 

“We are seeing strong men across the globe rise up, take resources, refuse to leave. Sooner or later (usually later) the citizenry demands change, as recently happened in Zimbabwe. Watching Robert Mugabe ‘perform’ a ritual of defiance in the wake of demands for his resignation was the catalyst for this poem. Fortunately, the defiance of the people—the same people he had imperiled—outmatched his. Defiance of authority, resistance to dictatorship is a fact of our lives around this globe.”
—Patricia Spears Jones

Defiant

Fruit from one vine tangles with another
Making a mess of the intended harvest, yet
the lack of calculation is welcome
 
that accident that shifts bodies from shadows
into a locus of light midday bright & caustic
wounds un-healed   newsreel cameras trap
 
this old & angry man in a bespoke suit lifting
white pages & refusing to read them, mumbles
unwelcome threats & thanks the nation
 
the nation kicks him out—finally defiant
after years of misrule, disruption, murder
and the choked voice youth terrorized
 
he wants more blood on his hands so that
when he enters his version of paradise
all will be red.

Copyright © 2018 by Patricia Spears Jones. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 22, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2018 by Patricia Spears Jones. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 22, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.