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The Library of Congress > Poetry & Literature > Poet Laureate Projects > Poetry for the Mind's Joy > Winning Poem: Dogtown
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This poem was submitted for the "Poetry for the Mind's Joy" project and is reproduced here with permission from the author. All rights reserved. Poetry for the Mind's Joy is Poet Laureate Kay Ryan's project that includes a community college poetry contest administered by the Community College Humanities Association and a lively videoconference.

let me scribble with the pen:
i am no legend,
let me not breathe,
i am not great.
drink it on the store tops;
these boys are heroic.
they tear the swimmers
from the pools and
spill themselves in, water.
bleed until the ink sinks in,
these words are freedom,
these frames are legacy.
hold us down with your words;
blind us with your fluorescent bulbs,
your eyes are not the sun
and your mouth is not a chain
so scream it loud
and stare all you want.
it's freedom and it's loud.

Cape Cod Community College, West Barnstable, MA
Faculty Contact: Louise Desantis-Deutsch