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Friday, October 16, 2020


by Akua Lezli Hope


Her smirk
not a quirk
an expressive face that moves
knows the dance in a glance
an intellectual twerk
displays the staunch resilience
of the endowed but denied
civility’s proprieties
resistance to a jerk
who made exchange real work
those demeaned, those denied
who manage but won’t hide
constraints placed on contempt
silence endless drumbeats to genuflect
accommodate, excuse, cow-tow
duck and shamble, indulge the ruse —
all ignored in the arch of her brow
skew of her lips, pursed
and parsed along the narrow band
of behavior deemed seemly
she could not unmean what she meant
nor unintend the message sent, she would
proffer her passion extolling another
yet not relent and we, her many
cousins laugh and apprehend this
semiotic vent, who know well
the sly, deliberate tell
Akua Lezli Hope is a creator and wisdom seeker who uses sound, words, fiber, glass, metal, and wire to create poems, patterns, stories, music,  sculpture, and peace.  A third generation New Yorker, her honors include the NEA, two NYFAs, SFPA, Rhysling and Pushcart Prize nominations.