Week 8 “Say tomorrow doesn't come…”

Updated: May 13

Poems written by Untold Stories poets in response to the prompt “Say tomorrow doesn't come…” from The Conditional by Ada Limón.

May 8, 2020 Until Tomorrow

- Desiraé Simmons


tomorrow

we won’t have to say

#IRunWithMaud

#ICan’tBreathe

#HandsUp

#BlackLivesMatter

tomorrow i will belong

without needing to assimilate

into others’ expectations

mine are enough

without stares rolling

over my Black body

for daring to take up space

tomorrow, money

will not be valued

higher than the

shrieks of joy from a child

a warm hug from a loved one

after separation of time and space

tomorrow i will know

what safety feels like

that sense that everything

will be alright

not only because we

have faith, hope, love in our hearts

tomorrow, yes, tomorrow


today

i run out into

my backyard and see

not one but two

confederate flags flying

above a park, a Black church, a school

a Michigan neighborhood

i call home

today i wondered

what if tomorrow doesn’t come

like it won’t for so many

as i run through a cemetery

i feel the weight of mass graves

stop! i can’t breathe!

today

i saw the future

where we can all

trace our histories

like those who rest on a hill

where we all know

we will die

among those who love us

where we all sleep

knowing that when we awake

it will be tomorrow

yes, tomorrow


A Requiem for Tomorrow

- Erica B. Edwards

There is only today.


Today with its promise of laughter

And hugs

And garden sprouts

And a growing baby.


Today with its challenge of getting out of bed

And crying a little

Before smiling for the camera.

Pretending we’ve accepted this unacceptable reality.

Secretly letting go of what we used to believe were certainties.


Realizing the futility of tomorrow.

It isn’t promised anyway.

There is only today.


Today with its gentle suburban family walk.

Its brand new blue bike

Comfortable athleisure-wear

Constant reminders to shut the screen door

And epic backyard quests

Complete with mythical beasts the size of roly-polies.


Today with its harrowing report that we are sacrificial lambs on the altar to

Master God Economy.

Our Black bodies hunted by visible and invisible predators alike.

Laying in wake in refrigerated tractor trailers

While we deepen our ancestor’s stretch

Into a bend that doesn’t break.


Realizing tomorrow is an idea forced upon us through the captors’ tongue.

What is time anyway?

There is only today.


Today with its medicine of good good girlfriends.

The reminder that we all we got

As we retreat into old memories

And meditate on the warmth of the sun

The rhythm of the waters

The comfort of good food and drinks.

Today with its careers and passions

Everything we’ve worked for

Swinging in the balance

As the gluttonous hoard of the West rots

A carnage of Brown bodies we refuse to see

And Milk rains

And Meat festers

And Vegetables rightfully deny us their nutrient.


Realizing tomorrow is submicroscopic on mother earth’s body.

She has seen this before anyway.

There is only today.


Today with its elders learning to use unimaginable technologies

Saying, “I feel like I’m on The Jetson’s!”

While laughing with children who promise to come again

To push their wheelchair down the hall.

Expressions of gratitude for the millionth scribbled sketch

That brightens the silences we keep out of love

As the guilt deepens that before,

We believed we could not care for them as much as we do.


Realizing tomorrow is only a promise to step closer to death.

Cells deteriorate anyway.

There is only today.


Today with its gift of the present

A promise of peace

And surety of wisdom

if we only lean into it a little bit more.


The only future we can hope for

Is today.


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