Poems(’?) Might

1 min readSep 7, 2020

After Alvarez, ‘“Poetry Makes Nothing Happen”?’

Poems, perhaps, can be trusted

to save us from what happens

in this world,


Inspired reader reads, cries, sighs, decides.

So poetry turns a page to skip past a thought of suicide,

to keep a reader still long enough to catch a new color in a sunset.

Yet rarely does a verse sing only of joy,

more often of love

and loss.

But what of the middle school girl

who wants to try on fake lashes,

and kisses,

and laugh at sleepovers with bags of Gummi snakes from the Warehouse,

but instead

ties silky scarves on her hairless head?

How does a person keep her not dead?

How many children must mothers love

and how many meters or syllables, how much time

will grant salvation via meter, voice, music, rhyme?

Can poets please “make nothing happen”?

When a mother asks whether she will be able

to sleep at night,

Alvarez assures her

this poem has “might.”

Might, coulda, maybe, shoulda,

while poetry survives and loved ones entomb tattoos.