Community Poems: Reclaiming Our Narratives

Community members who attended the July 26th “Reclaiming Our Narratives” workshop had a chance to write a community poem. This poem was created by compiling select lines and phrases from the essays and poems written by participants during the free-write part of that workshop.

“Inside Us” By Ronald and Lori Stanley, Sandy Robert, Sarah Webb, Maggie Clarke and Jahi Mackey

Getting along with my grown children And grandchildren Staying alert and focused And having a daily routine

People don’t see the loneliness I experience I chose to live alone Not with my children or grandchildren Or my boyfriend

Desperately wish that I Could slow down my brain Loving and sometimes hurting

Inside me feels broken A vase dropped from an Empire state Doubting myself Am I good enough

Inside me feels as though people Have gotten used to outside me Made a home and settled in

I have been a poet since 2002 And have poured out my thoughts In numerous poems I address to the world Even though I am alone

“Outside Us” By Ronald and Lori Stanley, Sandy Robert, Sarah Webb, Maggie Clarke and Jahi Mackey

Outside me has a voice that Breaks glass ceilings Masks pain with vibrato Radiates joy in every note

Beautiful Smart African American woman And nurturing

Funny, making jokes, laughing, smiling Chronically late Showered, maybe

People see me as handicapped with me Walking so very slow People see me as perhaps needy People see me as someone to help People who see me and don’t talk to me Cannot possibly know me at all People who knew me before my stroke Knew that I was the same person as before

Confident and content

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The 821 Project is and always will be a nonpartisan organization that educates people about social problems and creates platforms showcasing southeast Louisiana’s cultural diversity. Our organization

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