Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016


Love Notes and Dissent

in Politics/U.S. by

after langston hughes and emma lazarus

no time for grief; not anymore. a
neighbor needs you. a sister needs
you. a stranger needs you. so wear
your mask proudly. read langston
loudly, let america be truth to
devastation. let it be love notes
to each other. let love notes be
black ink on ballots and lace-
collared dissent. let dissent be
the hands we hold out to each
other. let our hands be the
bridges we’re building. let our
bridges cross miles, oceans,
origins. let our origins be everywhere
someone is dreaming. let our dreams
be without cages, without tear gas,
without walls. let our walls be a
memory. let our memories be
unflinching. let our unflinching
hearts crack, but let them crack open.
let our open arms lock together and
embrace the yearning to breathe
free. let our freedom be our
responsibility, our responsibility
our outrage, our outrage
our hope. let our hope be a
promise to do better than our
histories. let the histories we write
be something we’re proud of
tomorrow. let tomorrow be the time
we stand though we’re shaking. let
our stand be remembered as a
transmutation of grief; as the future
we forge from these ashes and nights.
and let our nights lead to brilliant,
incandescent dawns—grateful sunrises.
we exist side-by-side, reading poetry to
november air, pledging ourselves to each
other in that fragile valor called faith



Catherine Strayhall is a nerdfighter from Kansas City. A two-time winner of the Sullivan Poetry Award at Kansas State University, her work has appeared in The Kansas City Star and elementia. Her project “Mobile Poetry” (2017) features location-based poetry around Manhattan, Kansas.

Photo by Kyle Glenn.


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