"Words' Worth" Poetry Readings
Poets at the Culture, Arts, and Parks Committee
of the Seattle City Council.
A Window In The Wall by Christine Hemp
For the officers and youth who participated
in “Connecting Chord” Spring 2000, London England.
We look out at Brixton rooftops, slick with rain.
We shiver in the draughty room and scratch
pens across paper.
What is courage if not forming words
for what will meet us on the street,
in the pub, the darkened doorway? Words carve
shapes out of the smoky haze.
Crisps and candies crunch, but our hands
keep moving. Toward the wall between us.
What we finally greet
is not a lurking shadow, not the sound
of a siren, nor a door slashed with blood,
but a window (What kept us from seeing it
before?), the small frame peeling paint.
It’s open: letting in the air, letting in the light,
the songs from either side.