Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT June 24th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem Two Guns in the Sky for Daniel Harris by Raymond Antrobus, posted below. 

Our prompt was: Write about a time when you didn’t know the words.

More details will be posted on this session, so check back again!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Monday June 27th at 6pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions 

Two Guns in the Sky for Daniel Harris by Raymond Antrobus

When Daniel Harris stepped out of his car
the policeman was waiting. Gun raised.

I use the past tense though this is irrelevant
in Daniel’s language, which is sign.

Sign has no future or past; it is a present language.
You are never more present than when a gun

is pointed at you. What language says this
if not sign? But the police officer saw hands

waving in the air, fired and Daniel dropped
his hands, his chest bleeding out onto concrete

metres from his home. I am in Breukelen Coffee House
in New York, reading this news on my phone,

when a black policewoman walks in, two guns
on her hips, my friend next to me reading

the comments section: Black Lives Matter.
Now what could we sign or say out loud

when the last word I learned in ASL was alive?
Alive — both thumbs pointing at your lower abdominal,

index fingers pointing up like two guns in the sky.

© 1909 - 2022 The Poetry Society and respective creators 
ASL illustration by Oliver Barrett.

5 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 12PM EDT June 24th 2022

  1. Rita B

    A time I didn’t know the words –

    It is easy to stay silent when one faces another, who has just lost a loved one – an elderly parent, family, friend or especially, a child. What does one say? I certainly would choose to stay silent, rather than say the wrong words.

    This happened last night. My friend from 1971 – her elderly dog just died. I replied to another friend’s text – “thanks for speaking on my behalf.” I didn’t know what else to say.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. About a time when I didn’t know the words~~~

    I was angry, I was beyond sad.
    My heart was broken.
    There was a physical pain in the pit of my stomach that seemed not to go away.
    How could I describe how I felt when the immensity of what had happened was beyond words.
    Nothing would be the same again, nothing.

    But yet, the sun rose the next morning, the birds in the treetops sang their songs, and life around me continued on.
    And, as painful as it was, I took small steps moving forward.
    It did get better, slowly.

    And so… I found my words, eventually.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Katie O'Grady

    Compared to You

    Words forsake me
    The pain too brutal to wrap
    my mouth around.
    That dark, deeply planted Monster
    of generations.
    Generations of trauma.

    He was nothing compared to you,
    compared to losing you.
    But he birthed you.
    For why else would I have wandered toward your pain?
    Towards you.
    Towards the suffering, misery, rejection
    of that time.
    That shadow time
    of your loss.

    Like a dark moon with no more glow,
    all the lights are out.
    Knocked the breath out of me.
    Kicked all words out of my skull
    …and heart.
    Ripped the teeth from my mouth one by one,
    so I could not speak.
    I was mute.
    Mute for some time,
    just like in childhood.

    Accepting time.
    Acceptance of the weight of this time.
    Until time.
    Precious time,
    Father Time,
    Saturn – Ruler of Time’s time,
    will one day relieve me?
    Please relieve me.
    And, lift this burden,
    from my now broken shoulders,
    and give me my words.
    To one day,
    make sense of this migraine mystery,
    of eternal suffering.

    Because with each passing day,
    of greater distance,
    of longer silence,
    between us,
    my love for you only grows.
    Rather than dissipating, fading,
    As I’d hoped
    for my anticipated relief.
    So now, I can only hope,
    to say the words
    “I do”
    to Someone Else,
    and no longer feel
    they are being empty mouthed
    to someone else
    who compares to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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