This weeks Saturday Poetry, matched with mobile photography/art is entitled ‘Hope is a Bruise’ by Dasha Kelly Hamilton. She is poet laureate of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the state of Wisconsin, is the author of Life in Short (Boswell Book Company, 2020) and an Arts Envoy for the U.S. Embassy. In 2021, Hamilton received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship to create a Milwaukee Youth Poet Laureate program and position, which will be an immersive and divergent approach to youth dialogue, leadership, and literary arts. The inaugural Milwaukee Youth Poet Laureate will be selected through a contest. Top pieces from the contest will be included in an anthology and finalists will advance to a recognition showcase. The showcase winner will serve as Milwaukee Youth Poet Laureate through their senior year and graduation and earn scholarships for college, or seed funding for a business.
I have matched mobile art by @i.am.francisco – Francisco Palavecino with this poem. You can view his Instagram feed here.
If you would like to be featured in our Saturday Poetry section, please ensure you include the hashtag #theappwhisperer to any images posted to Instagram. This will mean we will be able to consider it.
To view the others we have published in this section, go here.
Hope is a Bruise by Dasha Kelly Hamilton
Paintball pellets batter shoulders
and thighs at 190 miles per hour
I count the purplish bruises and
smile at the post vision of us toasting
laughing, being vibrantly alive
The woman who pierced my nose
Rushed outside afterwards for a cigarette
Whether my nostril or her nerves were to blame
We both survived an ordeal that day
I don’t think of the sweat on her lip
or the tears on my cheek when my jeweled
Black nose disrupts canonical spaces
Agony delineates child bearing from child rearing
Pain is the anticipated toll: the impossible stretch of skin and orifice,
wrenching of organs, the pinch and nip of nursing
I received no pamphlets about the pangs of panic and impotence
The deep marrow rupture when their ache explodes beyond your reach
A formation of police fired rubber bullets at my child
200 feet per second in defense of hatred and spiteful ignorance
She raged back in protest until her throat rasped, her heels
blistered and she shattered into sobs once safe in our home, in my arms
They gassed and maced my baby. She marched again the next day.
And the next and the next and the next and the next
Hope is a bruise, a nervous smoke and an unrelenting calvary
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