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Week 2 - ‘We Lay a Bridge Across Our Fears” Poems

Updated: May 9, 2020

Poems written by Untold Stories poets in response to the prompt “We lay a bridge across our fears” based on Audre Lorde’s quote.

We Lay a Bridge Across Our Fears -Ugbaad Keynan I am above them While the flames below don't touch me The heat from it is suffocating The journey to freedom only has one path Peace only comes by going through Doubt paralyzes me It wraps its fingers around my ankles and holds me in my place I will never leave... I will always feel like this... Suffocating, sweating, and heart palpitating I remember the people who laid these bricks The women who built this bridge And the sound of my racing heart echoing in my ears Is replaced by the voices of those who walked this path before me. They tell me I'm not alone They tell me it will be okay They tell me I just have to take the first step Because this bridge built over fire and flame Which is mean to consume and destroy Has carried those before me And they are free now And I can be too With one painful step That burns my flesh and rips the breath out of my lungs And a second step whose pain I'm prepared for


Peaceful Stream -Zainab Chaaban I was once a very young girl, around age 13, The strongest you've ever seen, Then happened year 2020, I got COVID-19, Symptoms came to many, and we lost some along the way, Young, old, hearts of gold, We stand with the world, ready, bold, Help and harness positive energy, or so I am told, My words may be heavy on the mind, but light on the tongue, Heavy in my heart, so I need to run, I am not the only one who feels this way, A wave of emotions runs through our world today, So I act kindly towards trees of green, All shades and colors of people made from teen (clay), Come as it may, I am here to adapt, every breath is a battle, so I inhale to be ept, In my heart I hold those souls most vulnerable, old, frail, sick, weak, irrecoverable, I sing this poem as I read it with a heart full of gleam, Let your health be forthcoming in a peaceful stream,


We Lay a Bridge Across Our Fears

-Jayanthi Reddy

we call on the world

to stay home

except for the angels

who feed us

and heal us

and keep us alive


but especially today

we hold our breath

for those we love

and those we've never met

each call

text message

grocery drop from 6' away

is a panel

on this bridge across our fears


counting by ones

-Nuola Akinde

You counted

Each vertebrae

Of my spine

And it took


Your thumbs kissed their way from the

Rolls of my hips to the nape of my neck

And the sweetness of it

Made me think of the balm

Of a midwife’s palms on my hips

While i groan

Dancing on all fours

Pushing another being earthside

Gaping mouth, a singing bowl

Placenta, a talking drum

Tender, callused hands

Creeping, dragging, stomping, skimming

My body has held every part of you

Weary feet

Throbbing heart

I’ve collected your kisses in my clavicle

I wanted to be the bridge

But i too am a seeker

Divine and distraught

Stumbling into the light

With a toddler’s dexterity and determination

How do i become


And unafraid

(not fearless, but un-afraid)

Like my daughter, the archer

I am a fool

Haphazard and messy

With my kisses

Love is the only bridge

I know

To cross


I lay a bridge across my fears..

-- Anuja Rajendra

I gurgle and gasp

In the gaps between

The relentless assault of the

Battered hands choking me

My neck contracts with the digging in

The virtual bruising

Is internal

Never visible to others

Not healing

Except for the tick tock rate of

Radioactive decay

Of semi precious metals

Or, am I a non precious nonessential?

Or, is it my ego that is even asking?

A boot with the sloshy slime

Of back alleys and of bountiful boulevards

And crowded political rallies

And power hungry selfish so-called saviors

And, yeah, a sneaky streak of wannabe Bollywood beauties

With invite only porch parties and lying, lingual lacerating, and backroom backstabbing

Is like a puzzle piece dug in

To the newly maligned space on

My furrowed forehead

A forehead that used to look upward

At one with the sun

And emanating light

Not just to one

But to thousands in an idealistic

Dance of heavenly duty

This largest part of my

Feminine t-zone

Now dribbles with pre-scarring blood

Brought forth by the micro-needling

No, the subtly incessant silent killing

The bashing by the brutality of lives unexamined by the keepers of their flesh.

This living nightmare awakens to an unlikely escape

The solitary confinement of required increased social space.

Re-illuminating inward and filling up and stitching the wounds

Wrapped in the embrace of my loving friends and family’s cocoon.

This bridge across my fears is not what Hanuman built for Ram

It is operating slower and cellular but with a structural and energetic foundation

of the same heavenly powers

To turn night to dawn

And fear to light

And put to rest the devils who decided to create for me what they hoped would be an unbearable plight.

The final word, I will have.

The shoreline is for the pure hearted, growing stronger and brighter with our collective insight.



-Leseliey Welch

Today we reap

The harvest of yesterday’s

Tainted soils –

Blood. Hate. Willful Blindness.

Rains rush in

To reveal the holes

In the roof

Of the house capitalism and white supremacy built.

Winds rip away

Illusions of alright

Lift up the absurdity

Of That’s just the way it is thinking

Of individualistic

As any way to be.

Let your heart take courage


Resist the urge

To plug and patch and catch

Rain to water

The same

Gnarly soil

Surrounding a sordid house.


Open the doors, windows, basement

The cellar, attic and bowels

Break open

Your heart

And let rain wash you free.


See me in your soul

Look behind and beyond cloudy eyes

The light is coming

The promise of a new harvest

The making of a new house.

We can always be made new.

Be new.

Be and build

Dream and create

Like my first breath

Depends on you

Plant mustard seeds in fresh earth

Like my life and the lives of

My children’s children matter.


Believe you are the way, the truth, and the light

Wisdom often gathers in low places

Build a bridge

From the inside out

From your nightmares undone

To your grandest dreams

For me

For us

For them.

We were never meant to survive - Says who?

I will exist.

I will exist

Because you resist, you open, you see, you become, you believe, you build.

Blessed are those who believe without seeing

You are the architects of generations of tomorrows

Give up

and I die

they die

we die

again and again.


And I live.

Love a redemptive, unwavering love

And I live

they live

we live.


Conciencia interior (Inner consciousness)

-Erika Murcia

My heartbeats

facilitate me with me

my sacred home

My breath

connects me with life

in my body mind spirit

My tears

allow me with permission

for self-compassion right now

My hands

bridge me with writing

as a storytelling tool

My feet

hold me with love

as I rise up in mountain pose

My hips

move me with dancing

all the joy and power in

My wholeness

sustains me with healing

every second every day

Our Pachamama

NURTURES me with food

and invites me to care for her much more


Building a Bridge to Our Truth

-Desiraé Simmons

They say I should fear

an unknown virus.

But it's the disease I know

that I fear during these time of unrest.

They say I should fear

what happens when this or that group has power.

But it's those who hoard power now

that I fear will make humanity face its final hour.

They say I should fear

the violence happening at the hands of the other.

But it's what is done on the down low

that I fear will push peace away further.

I've never found fear to be that motivating.

It simply drains my energy so I don't want anything.

Now is the time to want it all anyway.

I'll focus on what can be changed through the energy.

My body stretches out to reach both here and there.

I've become a bridge between time when we learn what is near.

On one end, the fantasy of the wicked,

those who forgot how to love,

because their ancestors' deeds only left behind,

a faint memory before it became about more.

That we believe it is what I fear greatest

that the lesson in front of us, we refuse to learn.

If the path to the reality most true remains hidden,

we'll settle for fantasy instead of that for which we yearn.

By crossing the bridge I can understand all perspectives.

Today I'll choose to believe dreams come true.

I'll lay brick by brick with you toward a better future.

In times like these, what else can we do?!

Reaching backwards and forwards at the same time,

leaning into what's already been known- seeing the sign.

Leaving behind the fear that makes us retreat.

Instead, following the drums in the distance as I feel them beat.



-Julie Quiroz

I wake to tingles

inside my forehead

and a red sunrise


in my throat


this newborn


has come

ten thousand miles

to live

and die

in me

Mild in my body

it chokes the lungs

of a mother down the street

Her breath

I must carry forever

I must

bury this mangled world

I helped to build

dig my hands

in soil

hold the roots

and refuse

to let go.

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