Kaymin Hester is a New City Arts Poetry Fellow. Kaymin completed the inaugural Poetry of Power workshop in Spring 2020.
I’m Kaymin Hester. I go to Charlottesville High School and I've been writing for as long as I could read and reading for as long as I can remember. I participated in the Poetry of Power Workshop and gained so, so much from it. I love to write and I love the writing community and I hope to continue to be a part of it.
by Kaymin Hester
Gratitude, the sun-darkened or winter-bleached hand, has taught me my privilege -
it is something to know intimately, the way a mother knows her unborn child or
a sapling knows its roots.
waxing and waning, a carcass of a moon swelling in the dark, empty sky:
(much like the moon) doesn’t it belong to everyone or
doesn’t it belong to no one?
Gratitude is grace, a rush of relief so potent it robs me of my breath,
the blood oozing from each bitten lip and bitten sentence -
I snap after each word with wolf’s teeth -
she is the pulse pounding in my ears, my raised fists and retweets,
keeps me fighting/keeps me honest
she is titled by the hypotheticals and
chronicled by the bones of the past:
these bones are my bones holding me upright.
Gratitude birthed the infuriated and became the ground under my feet, the wind in my lungs,
the rawness in my throat after my voice scraped it clean.
at least I have myself.
nothing but my fists
and my teeth
and my pride -
the firmness against my knees, bowed head under a furious flag,
each ear my - our - dissent reaches,
each mind it changes each law it changes the world spins the same but
Gratitude is the difference.
Gratitude unearths the seeds of kindness and replants them in fertile soil -
to begin, we must submit to circumstance but
to grow, we must dictate circumstance and
Gratitude, the soil pouring from her belly, is the daughter of such yet
the seeds stay safe nestled against her breast.
we learn under her steady guidance, a trowel in one hand and shears in the other:
to uproot tradition, we must dig and snip
until we’re soaked in sweat but
Gratitude offers repose, so we take it, lying alongside the fruits of our labor,
dirty hands clasped over our hearts.