Social Justice Poetry
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The Ghosts on Our Backs | A Social Justice Poem by Jonathan Otamere Endurance

There are ghosts holding on to our backs,
Stalking our feet with the traces of bleeding memories,
Unmaking laughter out of the jaws that yelled
For “Change” the day
We tucked a lesser evil into our hearts.
Father said they are emblems of unfulfilled promises
Eating our remains
Like vultures preying on fresh delicacy.
Mother whispered sweet tidings into our ears –
When you see a ghost in your dream,
Peel off the flesh of your back,
Stab your feet on the eyes of its shadow
For it wouldn’t come haunting you again;
These ghosts are totems of unpaid promises.

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A Piece of Fruit Every Morning | A Social Justice Poem by Donal Mahoney

This morning Len sections his breakfast orange
with the knife he bought in Paris 40 years ago
on his honeymoon. He bought it from a vendor

at a street market selling every kind of knife,
beautiful creations he said he made at home.
Len no longer has that wife but he uses

the knife every morning to cut up his fruit
of the day. It might be a grapefruit, apple,
a melon in season but usually an orange.

Len never thinks about his first wife
but he remembers the blind beggar
sitting on a mat near the stand

pleading for a coin to buy bread
for breakfast as Len and his knife
rushed past to catch up with his wife.

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