Life Boat

Greenland is melting.

I am reading poetry.


Entire towns of Indigenous people

have no clean water

and I am reading poetry.

Neo-fascism is on the rise

refugees are still washing ashore

children are legally kept in crowded cages

another young Black man was shot by police

another mass killing just ravaged a school,

a mall, a church, a mosque, a synagogue

and I am reading poetry.


When reality weighs me down in despair

poetry straightens my spine,

connects me with these people,

their oceans of grief,

and is the boat that keeps me from drowning

as waves rise and run

and tears flow.

Poetry is buoyancy—

is salt itself—

as necessary as the salt in our blood.

It flavours our lives

cleans our wounds

teaches us to surrender,

dissolve, become one.

It crystalizes truth

which, when seen from all sides

can open our minds, move our hearts

and change our world.

I am reading poetry.