Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Julia Walsh, FSPA - crumpled (poem)

At the end of her talk as part of a panel on our intercultural reality on Saturday, Julia Walsh, FSPA shared this poem as a reflection on her ministry at an all boys predominantly African American inner city high school.


chiseled like 24,
sounds like 13
he is light, no dark
mission made home                              stand up
                                                            flat, soaking hair
                                                            qualified, hidden pride
                                                            love, firm, consistent, kind
glares, eyes rolled
glazed, head tilts
another awkward body
sits like stew on a desk                   know this because
                                                            some people decided
                                                            it’s very IMPORTANT
                                                            outsider, no click out- attitude
flaming-hots litter
weeds waste round
astroTurfed field
but no books or machines              a phone call home for cheaters
                                                            so lift every voice and sing
                                                            the bible: not a pillow
                                                            books of Tubman, Tutu, and King
homework, undone
sun-faded dreams
lockers flood forgotten
sexting, phones, gum                     inculturation, weird recognition
                                                            street-tough division five hoops recruit-
                                                            i see you: playful, inner child. i feel you: perfect joy.
                                                            songs with Thea and to Christ, prayers
heating that swag
boy, girl. G.
plagiarized promises
just a typical teen                             sheets of paper, cloth
                                                            between both, tired work lives
                                                            body, shudders through night
                                                            crumpled by questions, concerns
                                    wad up
                                    the note
                                    book paper
                                    and air
                                    ball toward the

By Julia Walsh FSPA

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