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Young Writers Project: 'Momentum'

Roland Downey, a senior at the Putney School, wrote "Momentum" during a poetry workshop on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Roland Downey, a senior at The Putney School, has been writing with Young Writers Project for five years and is a mentor of other writers on the YWP site. Roland wrote this poem during a poetry workshop at his school on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

By Roland Downey
Grade 12, the Putney School

It’s about what you say when your poem is over.
But before you can finish the poem, you have to begin it.
And beginning a poem is the same as beginning a movement; difficult.
It’s an adrenaline-rushing, heart-stopping clamber over the summit of your brains
mountain of fear and denial that lets you stutter out your beginning few words.
The rest of the poem is easy, it’s just gaining the momentum that’s hard.
But if the momentum has been building for more than a century, why are we not free yet?
Should we not be pushing harder to reach a dream once dreamed?
Should we not be taking this movement towards freedom more than one step at a time?
Should we not be rushing towards equality with the same speed at which we go down the highway? Way too damn fast?
Or are we scared of the recoil, are we scared that our rocket of peace will blow up right here in our faces?
Are we scared of admitting that we don’t know where to go from here?
Then where is the movement?
Where is our momentum?
Where is the freedom?
Before we can reach the end of the poem, we have to begin it.

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