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January 2012

2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Awards

Poetry: High School

Honorable Mention

Coloring Paper
Shanquae Parker
10th grade, Pittsburgh CAPA


I thought I could slither my slender hands
across the black and white keys
and they would hear my pain,
trying to clear a path for hope with vibrations.
But no, their deaf ear didn’t listen to me.
I prayed the night before, for a miracle,
for them to hear again.
But they didn’t want to hear.
Because my hands weren’t to their likings?
They were black,
my hands were black.
So when I sat at the piano and brushed my hand
against the black and white keys they didn’t hear
me, and their blind eyes didn’t want to see me.
So, I will stain my brittle black words
onto this white frigid sheet of paper,
and maybe they will feel me.
They will feel how cold and weak my heart is,
when I write with my black hands.
And just maybe, one day when I get the courage,
they can see how I look when I read these words
that I colored on this here paper.

View the complete list of the 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Award winners.

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Contact Shilo Rea, Director of Public Relations at shilo@cmu.edu or (412) 268-6094.

 

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