Featured Poem: Learning to Write

By Audre Lord

Is the alphabet responsible

for the book

in which it is written

that makes me peevish and nasty

and wish I were dumb    again?

We practiced drawing our letters

digging into the top of the desk

and old Sister Eymard

rapped our knuckles

until they bled

she was the meanest of all

and we knew she was crazy

but none of the grownups

would listen to us

until she died in a madhouse.

I am a bleak heroism of words

the refuse

to be buried alive

with the liars.

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