Where Credit Is Due

By Jada Yee

Today, our words aren’t as thick
no matter the slice, they come from a loaf
that’s barely enriched.

Today, their words remain a concrete rain;
levels our heads and dishevels the hair on our arms.

Our words, today, live
only to be underlined
by a discernable red.
Aspiring to be bold,
but hardly authentic.
Guilty of plagiarism
long before
fingertips learn to
take their first steps.

Let us keep practicing to think before we speak.

Practice,
knowing we can’t touch them,
knowing we can’t thank them.
But, even when they were alive,
the knowing was mutual.

We are one and the same.

We are all waiting to feel like we made it.
In the end, hoping that the last thing we hear
is confirmation from the world,
telling us, that, out of every decade,
ours left the most lasting impression.

And, maybe we don’t stay long enough, while alive,
to hear what comes after polite applause.

Fearing there will be accusation and indifference,
the instinct is to abandon our hearts;
to abandon every part of the past.

 

Jada Yee says if she hadn’t been introduced to free verse poetry in high school, her voice might still be the quietest whisper. More of her work can be found in “Vine Leaves Literary Journal,” “Mad Swirl,” “Crack the Spine,” “The Write Place at the Write Time,” and others.

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