ABCs of Poetry: D is for Danger

Posted by on Apr 26, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on ABCs of Poetry: D is for Danger

Poetry And/In Danger

Poetry is in danger. Who reads it? Large English classes full of bored students. Small English classes full of hyper-conscientious students. Poets.

But that’s not all, not the half of it. Poetry is everywhere. Do we know how to know it, when we see it?

I am in danger. I am trying to write about poetry, but it is so much larger than me, and I am so small, and I have so little to say. I am a tiny, wide-eyed yellow chick with a giant red balloon, with a string tucked under my wing, on the lime-green grass in the sunshine beside an empty playground at the edge of an elementary school parking lot—gray asphalt, a hopscotch course, a basketball hoop. What else? I am out of breath.

When I write poetry, I am in danger. It knows too much, and I too little. A minnow in the mouth of a piranha. A surfer flailing against the undertow.

When I am in danger, I write poetry. A bear on my trail. A bus backing up, the beep getting louder and louder.

Poetry is danger. A microburst felling trees before there’s time to close the windows.

Poetry says it will be okay even when it isn’t. I am here for you, come to me.

Don’t be afraid. I’ve been awaiting your arrival.

But be prepared. I won’t make this easy.

Remember how small you are.

Remember how small.

How small.

Danger is poetry.

You’re awake now. You see.

You hear touch taste smell sense and know

that safety is a luxury, or a luxurious illusion. Safety

has time and space when both are running out.

Time and space is what poetry gives.

Poetry is time and space.

Poetry is safety . . .


is in danger.

Ioanna Opidee is an English teaching in Connecticut, and the author of the novel Walking Slow, which was named a finalist in the multicultural category in the Foreward Indies Book of the Year awards. She holds a MFA in creative writing from Fairfield University, where she taught for seven years as an adjunct professor. Her work has been published in several outlets, including The Huffington Post, Talking Writing, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and Lumina literary journal.