Illiterate to Equality

Illiterate to Equality

as originally published on The Starving Artist

starving artist

I hear there are one million

twenty-five thousand, one

hundred nine point eight

words in the English Language –

as of 2014 – and I

wonder, have I heard them

all.  I fear

in my eight thousand three

hundred ninety-five

days of life, all the words

I don’t know.


To explain the

death of thirteen Colombine kids

as an anniversary – a collective

remembrance – of tears and yet

to call this

a Wednesday.


It’s just Wednesday.


The syllables choking my



and to read

comments of black Southern schoolkids


for immaturity.  It just doesn’t

translate in a world


where white rapists go free.

This is freedom.


While there is

no synonym for justice


mishandled this way.  Though maybe

she [justice] is waiting

in the two-tenths of a word

Google counted

as missing.  Perhaps twenty sixteen


has found them – the letters

to clarify


how eighteen inches of rain could displace

Texas families from Home – there are

desperate words for their

sodden tears – with rhyme schemes


to embroider

a family’s drowning life

in a sidebar notation of

scarcity –


no one reads

the words of Nigeria’s absent water

supply. And so those words

go uncounted.


In a world

illiterate to equality.


I listen

for words I don’t hear.

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.