Ferocious Jabari *
By Dorothy Hagan
While explaining to 7th graders the
Ways to combat the haters, the ignorant
And race baiters, I said plan to ignore
And then I implored them to guard their souls as
They invent and present without question their best
So I keep preaching saying you
All keep reaching for you can,
Embrace that geek and
As you continue to seek in
success of the nerds as you slay with the
Words of the Poet inside, who wins in the end.
So my kids, be free to peel off that mask
Grab a whole new forecast, push the past aside,
Celebrate the skins you are in as you freshen
Your lessons with academic questions, your
Futures are told so tell your mouth
Your dreams won’t bleed on the road, forthwith
So my loves, be fearless, ferocious
On occasion be precocious with your lines,
Your teachers got you and will be there to watch you in spite of
Some folks and positions with strong, potent
Dispositions…but just let them…for you are the poet with the pointed poetry.
December 8, 2019
*I recently had the pleasure to teach the Nikki Grimes poem, Jabari Unmasked. This poem is written using the Golden Shovel form, a fairly new form using words from another poet’s poem to inspire your new one. I searched through my most beloved poets, finding naught, and then lines in Jabari Unmasked reached out and grabbed me, begging me to join in her quest. The bolded end-words come from the last stanza of Jabari Unmasked.
Ms. Grimes, thank you for your words and inspiration, and may my words be a fraction as useful as your own.