Those Who Can

No Contractions

why go through the trouble
shoving together ideas at odds
–can and not–

the lightning tipped apostrophe
is contracting
chance into paralysis
because industry contracts
economy contracts
The world of can’t cracks and collapses

no
humans stretch
people explore
students can
can is an opus
constructing
illustrating
teaching

there is nowhere to hide behind can
you may not cower in your doubts
you may not avoid the work to be done

convincing yourself
you can’t now
means you won’t tomorrow

when you can analyze literature
it means you will write it

say I can examine my life as a journey
and someday you will be someone’s hero

if you can’t
then don’t

but come back to my classroom
after you have calculated all the wasted time
troubling with the odds

and you are tired of missing your chances


A shout out to the famous Taylor Mali poem to frame today’s effort! If you have never seen this, please watch this and many more videos of this amazing poet’s work.

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