Urgent Note for My Son Langston

A poem by Theresa Williams, one of the students in my recently done Intro to Creative Writing courses. Of all the many moving documents to come out of Ferguson and its crisis and the web of crises it belongs to this one’s moved me most. It’s so good it about annihilates the distinction between “personal” and “political.” And seems freeform but has an astonishingly clear ear — give a listen.


Urgent Note For My Son Langston

to be pinned to his collar upon age eleven

This is Langston.
He likes mutant turtles and the ghost grey
power ranger please
do not
shoot him he
is your new friend he
will jump in your arms
and ask
to be swung
in circles not
in news spin

please he
is scared of very loud
noises and he would not
respond to a shot he
might just fall in dirt
infra red and not move at

all like when we play ninjas and he is the blackest
because he say that’s the baddest

and I say no but
he say yes so
I’m the blackest

so how to make easy
topic better get meta
and none of this race shit really matters so
low I talk hawking but he waffles
and I don’t give a
fuck bout machines
stretched in time
I just need Langston man boy
demon home
in time please don’t

kill him he likes pancakes not waffles
like on Sundays when he asks for extra syrup
I pour on so much syrup
yes please
don’t fire we hymn strange hold
hands I put him on hips even
altars big
ger black
er and scary

arms scare
crow my neck brow clammy
while he mouths the words mom and god
round his tongue, spun like a fat marble.

And I know this note is a little long, but I just thought you should know that
this is Langston
and I love him he absorbs all the light
and so can you I mean yes
he’s not an angel stole once maybe twice
you learned his lesson well he

is or might be volatile please
return home safe so I can see the blue white
light from top peaks of his covers pulled tight
round his door bends blackbodies soft
sweet pulse a blue night

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headComposter

I write draw teach blog in and from the Pacific Northwest of America.

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