“Poetry is the only art people haven’t yet learned
to consume like soup.”
— W. H. Auden
I want to slip acceptance into a bowl
of Campbell’s Alphabet Soup.
Maybe she will swallow it then,
give up this fixation
with bony bare shouldered teens
displayed on glossy pages of deceit.
Seduction is too large
for their thin young frames,
but some photographer stretched
their pubescent smiles.
How can I tell a modest girl
who writes poetry and plays Bach
she is beautiful, when she can only hear
pimples complaining on her face?
And how can I convince a man
who walks in the shadow
of his brother’s wealth he is valuable?
That his dirty honest hands,
sweaty blue collar uniform,
and steel-toed boots
helped build gold dreams?
How can I mold a dream,
use images like a scaffold,
snag strong verbs from the deep throat
of a full sentence, make them desirable
as the white stone of acquittal?
This poem also appears in Loretta Diane Walker’s book Word Ghetto published by Bluelight Press.
About the Poet:
Loretta Diane Walker won the 2016 Phyllis Wheatley Book Award for poetry, for her collection, In This House. She is a five time Pushcart nominee. She has published three collections of poetry. Her manuscript Word Ghetto won the 2011 Bluelight Press Book Award. She teaches music in Odessa, Texas. Loretta received a BME from Texas Tech University and earned a MA from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin.
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