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National Poetry Month: Amos Don

“Don Haitian Monument” & “The Hunters”


Don Haitian Monument

This air for freedom harmonized—
Along these lines,
my back is being designed with neoliberal lashes—
Swooshing down,
A comfort from freedom—
Her air that I hear,
my backbone wife—
Pitching my water
to sponge my cracken’d back,
a virtue coming from God—
ALL I hear is air,
as uniform oppression rushes me
to end my verbal conjugal visit—
ALL I hear is air,
when holding back tears of insight—
Parallel to butcher block nude
like I’m commodity,
my socks are handed first—
Very slowly,
Trauma doesn’t appear,
a homeless juvenile—
Paralyzed in shock
by slave raid tactics,
my trembling hands on the wall—
“Spread them” suspends my thoughts,
Is he suppossssssse—
ALL I hear is air,
and I’m kissed by her compassion—
Comforting my prison bed her hands,
while my eyes—
Lies her bed curls
streaming her tears down
wading on my freedom,
Let it be the light.

Amos Don reading his poem “Don Haitian Monument”

The Hunters

Rain consciously pours—
One evening of course,
draping down theatrically—
Presenting my incarcerated stage,
connection to where and when—
Thunders, were the lashes
below the burning sun,
tanning the back of skin
reflecting mines—
So I sit, heavy with their plight in mind,
the solace I find
not having to be physically whipped—
Lightened my load with honesty,
I no longer hunt for bread—
Instead, I hunt for knowledge,
Where naps is what fuels
a good night sleep—
Living between the realms
of educational ignorance,
their smarts—
Are the resemblance of street ignorance roaring,
for my lack of awe—
“nigga, what did you say”—
Comes from treating me this way,
for siding with, most of feminists’ ways—
The door was swung open, and held,
for facetious purposes—
I then heard “go ahead my lady,”
but with natural beat of harmony—
My intellect is swift
off my tongue in resilience,
the wind of my response—
“You’re such a gentle— man.”
And, I’m on a shoulder—
Walking my faith
through the clouds,
I’m a shooting star—
My telescope falls,
my mouth hangs open—
In awe!

Amos Don reading his poem “The Hunters”

Amos Don, husband to Joanna Don, is currently serving a life sentence; wrongfully convicted. He is a bachelor’s student at Emerson College, as well as a published poet and children’s book author.

Image: Fia Yang/Unsplash