74 comments

Mystery Creative Nonfiction African American

we seek for hope.

but it died 

long 

long 

ago.

so we know

that it hasn’t just disappeared

of its own accord

no

we killed it.

murdered it in cold blood

dragged its lifeless body

out of our lives

and buried it under the mound of dirt

that we call life.

but for some reason

we still search for it. 

we still mount the podiums 

and tell the people who follow us

that there is a hope.

right?

as if

we hadn’t killed it years ago.

so now we run in circles.

try to jump over the hurdles

that were placed in our way

by the lies we told ourselves.

attempt to hide 

from the past that we’ve tried so hard 

to leave behind

but the past will always haunt us

the present will always disappoint us

and the future will always taunt us with what could be

can be

would be

should be.

even though sometime soon

your future will become your present

and your present will soon become your past.

nothing is ever concrete

except what you put your hope in

but hope is dead

so what do we do 

now?

we lie to ourselves. 

create a false hope

to stand in place of the one

that we unreasonably killed.

we give excuses for why

we are

where we are

but there is no excuse for murder

so why are there so many killers

on the street

roaming free?

because we don’t prosecute 

without evidence

and there’s no evidence

of the death

of something you buried

so far under.

so when they pat you down

and find no weapon

when they search your house

and find no body

they smile

shake your hand

holster their gun

and walk away

because 

since they can’t find it 

it must not be there 

right?

we pray

that things get better

not bitter

and that good things

will always stay together 

even though it makes no sense 

to pray for something to stay together

when it’s already fallen apart

and it makes no sense 

to pray for something to get better

when we’re the ones who made it bitter

in the first place.

oh

the irony.

but the thing is

that whenever anything 

is in high demand

and low supply

it is too commonly stolen.

taken by force

from the ones 

who haven’t thrown theirs away.

so once again

we become criminals.

we steal hope 

from the lucky few

that had the sense

not to murder theirs.

we steal hope

from the young

and from the old.

but stolen hope

doesn’t nourish the soul

the way real hope does.

it’s just a morphine drip 

for your conscience

but a constant drip

will empty itself 

rather quickly

and leave you more empty

than you were before.

leave you begging for more

of the sweetness and relief

that it brings.

so you find another

innocent soul to rob.

in the end

you ruin the lives of so many

take from them so much

only to obtain so little

of something 

that will 

never

ever

ever 

last

so many things

can take us down the 

road 

that winds

down 

down

down

but never leaves anywhere

we travel down

but since it’s not a very steep descent

we don’t notice 

until it’s far too late

for redemption

until the spiral’s walls come down 

just enough 

for us to look over the edge 

and realize that we’re in 

a whole new dimension 

with no one to speak to 

no one to steal from.

for once 

in this miserable life

you’re completely

one hundred percent

alone.

it comes as no surprise

but when whatever numbness you brought in is gone

the throbbing pain 

and the crippling ache

will take over

and when it does

your fake hope will fall through

and you will cry

you will mourn the loss 

of your real

original

hope.

you will think back and ask yourself

if it was worth it.

you will wonder

why

and soon it will dawn on you

that there is no way out.

that the pit you’ve unconsciously 

dug for yourself

is too deep for you to climb

then

what will you do?

there’s no point

in working so hard

for so long

all for something

that will evaporate

in a second

before your very eyes.

there's no point

in putting sweat and blood

into seeking for something 

that is gone.

it’s a pity

that this world

will die out

so soon.

the potential among us

gone 

poof

just like that

because our sustenance

our hope

died

long 

long ago.

but is it possible

for us to open the garage

sort through the dusty boxes 

pull out the shovel

and dig up the grave?

is it possible 

for our hope

to rise from the dead

and restore us

once again?

yes.

because hope will never really die.

there will always be a fire

raging in the heart of one.

there will always be a spark

ignited in the hearts of few.

there will always be an ember

smoldering in the hearts of many.

and 

at the very least

there will always be the ashes

lying in the hearts of all.

hope will never die

the human race may misplace their priorities

but the most important things 

always find their places

even if it takes a while

to set out its name tag.

soon we will begin to see 

the shovels in our hands

the graves in our lives

and we will begin to dig

dig until the first glimmers show

dig until we can touch it

feel it

wrap our arms and our minds around it.

it doesn’t take much

for a whole generation

to find their hope.

one by one

like a disease

it spreads

and once it starts

you can’t stop it

it just goes on and on.

it’s a revolution that we must lead.

join together to prove wrong those who say 

we are a shattered people.

prove to them 

that there is something much

much better

waiting for us

on the horizon.

let us show the world

that

though our hope

may have died 

long

long 

ago

we

will

not

be 

broken


July 31, 2020 23:46

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74 comments

Maya
01:47 Dec 06, 2020

I really love your poetry stories! Also, such an interesting take on the prompt. Great job. :)

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Phebe Emmanuel
20:21 Dec 06, 2020

Thank you, Maya!

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Well said, and well written. I loved that you went for a poetry route, it made this even more relaxing to read. Very soothing, awesome job!

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Phebe Emmanuel
20:46 Aug 13, 2020

Thank you so much, Melony!

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Khizra Aslam
07:11 Aug 07, 2020

Wow, you narrate it in a poetic way and every word is so relatable. Fantastic job ❤

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Phebe Emmanuel
08:13 Aug 07, 2020

Thank you, Khizra! That makes my day!

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Rhondalise Mitza
04:24 Aug 04, 2020

Like Charles said, and thank you Charles for your amazing feedback because to be honest you're one of the only ones who tells others what to work on and knows what he's saying, free form really is a hard kind of poetry to write, and like the latin phrase says, poets are born, not made. Fortunately, you do retain enough of a groundwork to be considered a poet, so don't worry, just keep listening and working.

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Phebe Emmanuel
09:36 Aug 04, 2020

Thank you so much! Will do.

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Charles Stucker
09:58 Aug 03, 2020

Free verse looks like the easiest form of poetry, but it is the hardest to get right. Maya Angelou has a lyricism in her free verse which marks it as the work of a master. What you have to find is the invisible rhythm and rhyme that sift into the brain as you read. Writing the cat in the hat is straightforward because all you have to do is find rhyming words and put in a little work to keep the meter constant. But free verse requires you to fiddle with each line, with each word, and see if you can find some variation which makes it a little ...

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Phebe Emmanuel
14:13 Aug 03, 2020

I - wow. Thank you so much. You're probably right, and I should edit at least 5 more times. I was previously writing a story for this same prompt, but with hours left to the close, I read over what I had and hated it. So I woke up at around 7:00 in the morning and wrote this. I guess there wasn't much time for me to do very much editing. But really, thank you. For the comment and being one who's feedback I can count on. It means a lot.

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I. LOVED. This. That's all I can say, tbh

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Phebe Emmanuel
21:02 Aug 02, 2020

Aww, thank you!

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E. Jude
07:59 Aug 01, 2020

Hey! I saw you followed me so I went to check out your story, or poem. Nice pacing and wonderful use of metaphor. I really liked it!! I would love it if you could check out my stories too!!! XElsa

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Phebe Emmanuel
09:32 Aug 01, 2020

Thank you, and yeah, I will try to comment!

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15:30 Jan 27, 2021

I love poetry styles like this. I love the message. I just loooooooooo oooooooooooooo oooooove this.

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Phebe Emmanuel
19:06 Jan 27, 2021

LOL I've seen your poetry too! That's insane, I could never think to do something like that!

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20:12 Jan 28, 2021

A poetry series?

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Phebe Emmanuel
20:39 Jan 28, 2021

Yeah! That's so cool, I never even thought of it until I saw yours!

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18:19 Jan 29, 2021

I just did one, but then I wondered "what happens next?" and I just took off on this craziness.

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Phebe Emmanuel
21:07 Jan 29, 2021

Well then, don't stop being crazy! :)

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Sjan Evardsson
13:39 Aug 23, 2020

Well done! It's rare to find a free verse poem that maintains a consistency and forms a complete narrative, as you've done here. Stay safe and keep writing!

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Phebe Emmanuel
00:57 Aug 24, 2020

Aww, thank you!

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Du Vay Knox
05:23 Aug 16, 2020

Righteous. My type of existential joint (and flow).

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Phebe Emmanuel
03:24 Aug 17, 2020

Thank you, Duvay! I can tell from the stories you write!

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Velma Darnell
19:55 Aug 11, 2020

Wow, you have created an extraordinary piece of work, Phebe! The narrative style is so unique and makes your story differentiate from other ones. p.s. I would appreciate if you could read my story when you aren't busy, thank you!

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Phebe Emmanuel
22:41 Aug 12, 2020

Sure, of course!

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P. Jean
23:52 Aug 10, 2020

I feel as though I was taken on a very special long journey. The undulating road down and up. Amazing piece of work!

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Phebe Emmanuel
23:53 Aug 10, 2020

Thank you. That means a lot to me.

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P. Jean
23:57 Aug 10, 2020

You are very welcome it is a pleasure to read good writing

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Phebe Emmanuel
00:14 Aug 11, 2020

:)

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Ana B
04:00 Aug 10, 2020

I read it and went 'WOW!' You really have got a powerful way with poetry!

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Phebe Emmanuel
18:35 Aug 10, 2020

Aww, thank you so much, Ana!

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Seasi Bergultz
21:29 Aug 06, 2020

I loved how you took the prompt and did something so different with it. This was beautifully written and so relevant. I try not to pay attention to which prompt piece is submitted under so I can get lost in the words and then hopefully guess right once I’ve finished reading, I was lost on yours until about mid way through and I love that it made me think and feel. Great job!

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Phebe Emmanuel
21:41 Aug 06, 2020

Thank you so much, and I'm glad that it gave you a good experience. I actually had no idea what to do, so I did this. Thank you again!

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Maya Reynolds
21:22 Aug 06, 2020

Wow, this was so good! I love the message of this poem!

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Phebe Emmanuel
21:23 Aug 06, 2020

Thank you, Maya!

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Alexi Delavigne
19:10 Aug 06, 2020

Loved this! So powerful and meaningful, amazing work!

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Phebe Emmanuel
19:12 Aug 06, 2020

Aww, thank you so much! I love yours too!

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Alexi Delavigne
19:18 Aug 06, 2020

Thank you! Definitely going to check out your other stories now :D

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Phebe Emmanuel
20:55 Aug 06, 2020

Thank you! :)

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Conan Helsley
18:53 Aug 06, 2020

Thank you for the likes. I hope you read them. I'd love to know your thoughts. I'll be checking out your work soon and let you know mine.

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Phebe Emmanuel
19:10 Aug 06, 2020

Will do!

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Rose C G
18:43 Aug 06, 2020

What a deep-felt message of hope. Enjoyed the poem~Rose

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Phebe Emmanuel
18:45 Aug 06, 2020

Well, I'm glad you did. Thank you!

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Rose C G
18:55 Aug 06, 2020

Hi, thank you for reading my stories. ~Rose

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Phebe Emmanuel
19:13 Aug 06, 2020

Of course!

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Daisy Torres
17:07 Aug 06, 2020

THIS WAS AMAZING!!! Seriously, I'm in love!!! I'm a huuuge poetry lover and this was possibly the best I've read in a long time. I love how you expose the way humanity takes what we have for granted, and then once the ribbons are shredded, you light an ember of "hope", and leave the story with a positive message, knowing that maybe it's not too late, maybe we can still recover what we've destroyed. FANTASTIC job 👏👏👏👏 Also thank you for the follow and likes!

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Phebe Emmanuel
18:15 Aug 06, 2020

For the likes, you're totally welcome. If you need me to read a story, at any time, just ask. And thank you! I was thinking of ending it on a sad note, but then it would just make people cry without any inspiration, so I eventually changed my mind. I'm glad you liked it!

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Daisy Torres
19:37 Aug 06, 2020

Will do! Thank you!! I'm sooo glad you didn't. People often point out the bad, but very rarely do they show how we can find the good. That was a wise decision 😂

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Phebe Emmanuel
20:55 Aug 06, 2020

Well, I'm glad I did! :)

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Daisy Torres
20:52 Aug 07, 2020

Hey, can I take you up on that offer about reading my stories? I just finished one called "An Accident to Remember" and would love it if you could proofread it for me, before the next contest ends so I can do any final editing haha 😂 If you don't want to though that's fine!

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Phebe Emmanuel
21:03 Aug 07, 2020

No worries! Of course, I would! Don't be shy, I have my mom read through mine all the time! :)

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A. S.
16:39 Aug 06, 2020

Great job! This was absolutely beautiful.

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Phebe Emmanuel
18:16 Aug 06, 2020

Thank you so much, A.S.!

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