Poem 91 ± September 3, 2015

Patricia Spears Jones
The Year of Mercy

The news is swift as swifts
Swoops across our minds
Then lulls until the next disaster
The spent storm exhales timber
Cars, cradles, sodden food,
And sad, sobbing people

The Pope has declared a Year of Mercy
One year and then what, a year of
Retribution? Why not a decade,
A century, a millennium of Mercy
Why not a Year of Pacificity
A Year of Deep Committed Loving
A Year of Tongue Scrubbing
Of the men and women who
Grope us with language as nasty
As their tender prodding hands.

The news twitters away silence
And opens hearts to failure
Or the possibility of evolution
In manners, in morals

Even, unto that dream of equality,
The one slaves understood
Could not be a dream,
But, had to be a reality.

Patricia Spears JonesPatricia Spears Jones is an African American poet/cultural activist and author of A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems (White Pine Press, 2015) and seven other collections and chapbooks. She is contributing editor to BOMB Magazine and is a senior fellow at Black Earth Institute, where she has edited Thirty Days Hath September in 2012 and a forthcoming issue of About Place Journal entitled The Future Imagined Differently. Patricia is a recipient of NEA and NYFA grants and awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Art and the New York Community Trust. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches in the City University of New York.