Poet of the Day – Joanne Kennedy Frazer

National Poetry Month April 21, 2020

Joanne Kennedy Frazer

The journeys are broadcast
over and over into homes
of the comfortable
who feel summoned
to witness families
fleeing to illusory refuge.
Trust in the crossing
is framed in faces 
of the very young.
Tiny mouths seek
mothers’ milk,
innocence drowns.
Shelter elusive, fences
crowned with thorns
crucify hope. 
Unfed, emptiness
threatens to consume
the promise.   
Viewers in need
of relief, change
channels, watch Jeopardy.
Previously published in Kakalak 2018

1.     What inspired you to write this poem?

Watching BBC’s coverage of persons seeking refuge.

2.     What do you like about this poem?

I like the irony of using the word “jeopardy” to describe the TV viewers, when it is actually those seeking refuge who are in jeopardy. 

3.     What would you change about this poem?

I would like to change the poem to include the current crisis on our southwester border…especially the separation of families.

4.     Where, when, and how often do you write?

I write at least four times a week in my office that looks out on our front-yard raised gardens.

5.     What poetry books are you reading right now?

I am reading An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo and Poetry of Presence edited by Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby R. Wilson.

Photo of Joanne Kennedy Frazer