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Sarah Kay performs Hand Me Downs

Posted in Spoken Word
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Video Details for Sarah Kay performs Hand Me Downs

Posted By testing on Nov 9, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Sarah Kay performs spoken word poem Hand Me Downs at Urbana 10th Anniversary Celebration at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City.

Hand Me Downs
by Sarah Kay

I know

You’ve taken to wearing around your father’s hand me down anger

But I wish that you wouldn’t

It’s a few sizes too big and everyone can see it doesn’t fit you

Makes you look silly

Hangs lose in all the wrong places even if it does match your skin color

I know

You think you’ll grow into it

That your arms will beef up after all the fighting

And it will sit on your shoulders if only you pin it in the right places with well-placed conviction

The bathroom mirror tells you look good in it

That it makes your fists look a lot more justified

And when you dig your hands deep into the pockets you’ll find stories he left there for you to hand out to the other boys like car bombs

And on days when everything else is slipping through your fingers

This you can wrap yourself inside of

This will keep you warm at night

Help you drift off to sleep with the certainty that no matter what it will still be there when you wake up

And the longer you wear it the better it starts to fit

Until some of those stories are your own

Maybe the holes in the sleeves are from the bullets you dodged yourself

So when it rips, snags on a barbed wire fence or someone else’s family

Don’t worry

Cause your mother and sister will help mend it

Patch the holes so the tears

Replace a button or two

Help you back into it and tell you how proud they are of you

How good it looks on you

The same way it looked on your dad and your grand-dad too and on his dad before him and on his father before him

But back then

Back then there was only sand

Until someone drew a line

Someone built a wall

Someone threw a stone

And the crack in the skull that it hit fractured perfectly outward like twigs on the branches of the limbs of a family tree

So someone threw a stone back

And each fracture, each tiny break, wound itself together into thread

The thread pulled itself around him

Your great great great great somebody

And on the other side of that wall they were knitting just as fast

And there’s fit them just as well

But only in a slightly different shade

So I’m asking

When the time comes

Who’s gonna be the first one to put down the needle and thread

Who’s gonna be the first one to remember that their grandpa suffered just as many broken windows, broken hearts, broken bones

And the first time you come down to dinner

And your son is sitting at the dining room table

With your hatred on his shoulders

Who’s gonna be the first one to tell him

It’s finally time to take it off


Spoken Word

Comments: 0 - Likes: 1 - Views: 3904