Poetry Submission: Staff

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/moregoodfoundation/5136020842/in/photolist-8PRs4u-cPu5bN-9MzxZh-hJVGHS-aX5jb6-wyHRz-wE7avb-hxtVWK-bphH6u-ho7gre-hFXM6f-txtt7u-7FLuJo-osjvUY-d9ZYoR-4jA2Cf-oREJpL-dRuaKD-i8ocjq-pkxtof-suDx5J-F281L-kb1Zu-xpqwPc-bBekWK-6oWyGx-oCfjZA-b6Wwjv-nEwAjT-mrS1zG-7DZSfG-9GQk2L-6UhJre-7nS8Tk-hrjNfX-48RWK8-8wPXXG-9DoVV4-CcrHe-64hA9b-e6duFy-grjd37-5KW2ks-bQxHwk-a2qNpJ-bBdiSL-efbVrc-q25LNs-xpqwbi-xpqvuD


By Maya Williams


God said to Moses,

“Take this staff in your hand, so you can perform the signs with it.”

And since then, God has given the glorious imperfect

A plethora of staffs.

They continue to bring many plagues,

And many cobras swallowing evil cobras whole.

However, we don’t use the term “staff” anymore.

That’s pretty outdated for this day and age.

But my staff, for example,

Is a pencil.


The same staff that took the courage to record more groundbreaking results

Since Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha,

The same staff that goes through

Bittersweet pain of giving birth to untold stories.

Crass diction and fulfilling imagery

Are the ways to truth.

If not THE truth,

The first steps to finding some truth.

I have a friend who picked up her own staff this past year.

She hasn’t stopped painting blood, sweat, and tears ever since.

No more bullshit stork pieces.

No more privileged births.

More friends of mine raised signs and fists

To part the red seas of ignorance

And indifference through protest.

Effective, peaceful protest.

Like King, Randolph, X, and other steps and hands

Of many different faiths

Using their gifts of voice for civil rights.

Now, another headstrong generation is born.

Filled with the need to make water burst from rocks

To fulfill our thirsts,

And fires from the sky

To raise our desires high.

One of the grandest blessings was not cast

For kicks and giggles.

Our eternal drive for purpose has been granted in one verse.

As I swing my staff across this page

I create poetry.

I remember when I would stop and start again

And how it would have been a while,

Like born-agains tip toeing into the back row of the sanctuary.

I’m a part of a born-again congregation.

And I’m not crazy when I say the Lord

Spoke to me.

A Spirit flowing like a light upon the revived tombstone

In my soul,

He said,

“Take this staff in your hand, so you can perform the signs with it.”


Maya Williams is currently double majoring in Social Work and English at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.

Photo credit: More Good Foundation

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