Excerpt from: There Is No Forgetting

by Dorothy “Dottie” Payne


There can be no forgetting this:


No forgetting this blood in our streets;

No forgiving the green in the pockets

of those who choose not to see;

No forgiving the cunning, the deceit,

the fondling under our sheets;

No ignoring the stain on our own hands

if we do not put our bodies on the ground

to stop this;

No wallowing in the sorrow

of our perfect knowledge of all this,

No forgetting the dollars for drones

with our morning toast.


Here in the sterile wombs of

the young, the ripped organs

of those too soon sexed–

there will be no dialing for dollars

on our daughters backs.



There will be no forgetting this.


Things keep happening in this

deepening darkness:

the dead keep dying,

the flags keep flying

as the bankers burn the midnight oil

stockpiling stolen goods

as the children keep starving

— and they keep silencing the poets–

But, there will be no forgetting this.

Dorothy (Dottie) Payne is a poet/artist /culture critic/international educator who has performed her poetry and organized poetry events in Jamaica, the West Indies, San Francisco and St. Louis. She participated in an International Poetry Festival in Havana, Cuba in the summer of 2015. She has run the Art Internationale Gallery and Art Lounge in San Francisco, and served as the artistic director of the Warrior Poets in St. Louis. Her essays have appeared in the St. Louis American, Jakarta Java Kini, Left Curve and Rain Taxi. She has published poems in magazines and anthologies and recently published her first book, Birthmarks. She is a member of the internationally acclaimed Revolutionary Poets Brigade.

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