Use Your Imagination

They did not imagine
back when they began
that we would still be here
this deep into the future.

It was a failure of imagination by those
who have always exaggerated 
how much imagination
they actually have.

They always believed
that the future was theirs
to corral and segregate,
that they would own the walls

and floors and doors
and locks and bars
forever. They built that way,
they taught that way,

they thought that way
was the only way. Their way
was the highway.  They thought
we would always be

like pavement: underfoot,
smooth, forgettable
as any other necessity
someone stole long ago.

Now that their pavement is
breaking, now that
the roots they thought
they had killed

are pushing hard new life
through it toward the light,
they dare to ask:
who are you to break

so much, block the journey,
question the wholeness
of us?  We respond:
use your imagination,

what did you think would happen?
And when they say nothing to that
and bring out the stale old weapons
and the antique crushing weights

and we rise in spite
of all that and they
are astonished, saddened, cooing
and cajoling and saying there, there,

calm down,
don’t be like that, we say:
use your imagination.
What do you think is going to happen

now? And when they stand there
on their broken ground amid 
their shattered walls and locks
and doors burst open and held open

by the swift and violent greening
of our resurgence, when they say
what now, we will not speak. We will shrug
and turn our imaginations elsewhere.

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About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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