Week 10 “Laughing as though…”

Updated: May 27

Poems written by Untold Stories poets in response to the prompt “Laughing as though…” from Dear Mama by Wanda Coleman:


Blessed Laughter

-Jayanthi Reddy


Let us mark this space 

built for academics

and the discussion of serious things

with full bodied laughter.


The volume of a guffaw

varies directly with joy.


Let it echo against the ceiling

send it out into the atmosphere

bury it in your hands. 

Hold nothing back.

Laugh with your mouth wide open

all teeth showing.


We laugh as though each giggle

is fanning a spark

that could keep us warm

and clear way for new life.


Sometimes we make a big deal 

about small things,

because living for each other

is divine.



Why Do Our Eyes Twinkle?

- Desiraé Simmons


it’s funny momma

and it is, isn’t it

no matter what gets thrown

at us

we keep growing

rooting closer and closer

to the meaning

laughing at the ridiculousness

of it all


laughing as though

our lives

depended on it


i know it most clearly

as i look into her twinkling eyes

her grandmother, my mother

my grandmother, her mother


i laugh louder as i realize

i have seen the world through

my great-grandmother’s eyes

even though i only faintly

remember that one picture

of those silken silver braids

and those whiskers on top of her lip

and under her chin


in this moment

she nods knowingly

because finally, i get the joke


seeds we plant in history

births a new generation

to laugh out loud


her poppa plants trees

twelve in one day

for a future with shade

and juicy fruit

i couldn’t help but laugh

at the ridiculousness


until we planted our placenta

grounding us in tomorrow

and with luck

that cherry will taste sweet

will bring forth a joyous laugh

seemingly from nowhere


but we know

as we catch the twinkle

in eyes all around us


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