Jason Reynolds: Grab the Mic Newsletter, April Edition

This newsletter is the latest in a series of guest posts from Jason Reynolds, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and was originally published on the Library of Congress blog.

It’s April, which means it’s … NATIONAL POETRY MONTH! Honestly, this might be my favorite month of the year besides February, and July. Oh, and there’s December, which is my birthday month. And there’s something about September, too. Anyway, April is here. Which means poetry is here. Poetry is always here, but during April it’s pushed onto the main stage to shine. So, this newsletter will be a poem. I’ve been hiding out in the woods working on some things, and, well … that’s where my head is.


it’s cold in the morning.
my bones are late for work
and so am i. and so i am

preparing a wood burning stove,
twisting a section of yesterday’s
and today’s times into wick and fuse,

tucking it into an iron belly,
lying logs on top and lighting.
learning a new way to warm.

it looks like sun blazing through
a small window and bullies the shiver
from the room. my bones crackle.

i am thawing and grateful for kindling,
melting awake in the morning,
glad to burn up bad news, first thing.

and trying not to think about
what else is up in flames locked
behind that door. because

it’s cold here. and i have too much
work to do to think about what’s been axed
for me to feel my fingers.