Poetry

Meet Prasanta Verma

Hello, I’m Prasanta. I’m a writer, poet, artist, photographer, and mom of three fabulous kids. I write about culture, identity, race, and belonging. Most days, you can find me reading or writing, with a cup of chai in hand. When it’s warm and everything is blooming outdoors, you may find me out on a walk […]

A Poem Called Freedom

A Poem Called Freedom (Reflections on How To Stay Free While Black)   Keeping my head to the sky I will close my eyes And listen for the sparrows’ whistle, the rivers roll, the trees whisper of their journey to freedom.   As the wind wipes my tears and holds me near I will embrace […]

Phillis Wheatley’s Revolution

She had words, from a birth language, spoken by a birth family, who gave her a birth name. Thieves tore almost everything from her, endeavoring to replace the originals with cheap imitations—like the new name they chose for her, from the boat that abducted her (The Phillis) and the family that enslaved her (Wheatley). But […]

What’s in Amanda Gorman’s Name

You know her titles: National Youth Poet Laureate. Inaugural poet (youngest ever). Harvard University graduate. Super Bowl show-stopper. Amanda Gorman: The one with her hand uniquely positioned on the pulse of a nation past, present, and future. But from a recent interview with Michelle Obama (Time Magazine),1did you know this about her name? “President Biden […]

Hope Feed

  I saw a picture on social media the other day, and it read, “Are we sure 2020 is gone?” I chuckled, like most, with a sense of sobriety  especially after the events at the Capitol,  so we’re all asking, “What is going on?”   We used to go on social media to get a […]

Seven Suggestions for Living a Creative Life

Do you consider yourself to be creative? You should. Poet Luci Shaw explains why: “We who believe we bear God’s image must realize that the image includes the capacity to imagine and create, because God is himself an imaginative Creator.” All day every day, every one of us relies on our creative capacities to resolve […]

America Looted The Black Body: (RIP George Floyd)

America . . .  Since our society’s conception You have looted the Black body. Take, rape, stripped us bare to our core, while you feast, prosper, stay safe, and ignore. All the blood you’ve shed, lives left dead, children unfed so that you live free in this claim of inheritance for liberty and justice for […]

And You Will Hear Thunder

There were sleepless nights. Covers hiding eyes shut tight, palms clamped down over tangles of ears and hair, all to no avail. The summer storms sweeping over my midwestern childhood home would not be tamed. Lighting stole through shades, sheets and eyelids as I lay trembling in my bed. Night winds tore through our hickory […]

This is for you, Love.

This is for you, Love. You who stands with arms outstretched and ready to receive. I see you, and I celebrate you.⁠ For you, it’s always Mother’s Day. There is no need for birth certificate or birthright with you—you are not defined by nature or pedigree. Family is more than blood to you, and your […]

Every Anxious Thought

Editor’s Note: Words fail, we find, in these extraordinary days. We stumble to enunciate this new life with them. Often, we have no words—even for God. Twenty writers and ministry leaders (Mudroom sisters included) joined together to offer theirs. The Pandemic Prayerbook: A Pray-at-Home Guide for the Corona Crisis is a collection of 30 prayers […]

The Scarcity of Enough

There is a daughter I mother A daughter I love But she is not mine & I am not hers, Forever. There is a mother she loves A mother who loves her, Forever. For love is like water. No human border can keep it out. Yes, love is like water It moves above in clouds, […]

The Immigrants’ Daughter

It’s maybe her first memory: The rocking boat, tempest-tossed* and cutting through Atlantic waves. “You always remember what makes you afraid,” she smiled. Fear mingled with hope as the USNS General M.L. Hersey entered the safety of the Lady’s harbor. Embrace was not a word she understood. Not in English. At three years of age, […]

The Magi

Editor’s Note on “The Magi:” A dear friend recently confided that she loves the Season of Epiphany (beginning in early January) but secretly dreads its first Sunday. Just as Christmas is neatly tucked away, her church musters up one last pageant to remember the Magi. Far from the orchestrated order and beauty of Advent’s Nativity […]

In Like a Lion

On the night before my grandmother died, a tornado struck Mills County. You can always tell when it’s on the way; just slip your hand behind the sash and press your nose against the screen.   Can you hear the echo of sparrows? Do you smell the sweet- ness of rain? Then draw in your […]

A Place to Land

I wrote this poem for Kate Motaung’s book release, A Place to Land. Kate’s journey to find home was a story I could relate to as a mujer navigating my own sense of home and place. I was overjoyed with she asked me to write a poem to read at the Festival of Faith and Writing, […]