What did you do in the …?

Number 6 in the weekly poems written with the “Poetry in a time of Pestilence” group.

What did you do in the …?

A Golden Shovel using part of “Speech To The Young : Speech To The Progress-Toward” by Gwendolyn Brooks


We wrote for distraction and we’d say

“let’s meet for wine and gossip”, to

drink in words, to laugh at them

and to bless us, to crush sour grapes, to say

“another bottle”, to walk the city dark, to

find the last bar, the last resort, the

place for desperates and down-keepers,

to string out the night like Christmas lights, to coax the

right words, to praise the sun-slappers,

to empty ourselves and our souls, to overshare the

daily drama, berate the self-soilers,

the donkey-men, the lairs and pikers, to sift the

possibilities, drown out the harmony-hushers

decant our thoughts and Lord knows we even

hugged and held hands and danced, as if

that would be enough to save the world for you.

© Mike Hopkins 2020