Poem: Resilience

Dec 01, 2022 by Bethel Swift, in Writing & Publishing

A cento is a “patchwork” poem comprised of lines from other poets' poems with only some punctuation changed. I post new centos periodically to share what I'm reading and keep the creative wheels turning. Citations follow each poem. This is November 2022's installment:


In the flurry of passing faces
I can almost imagine I know you . . .
Are you all right?
Behind this mask,
having failed and failed at love,
I am alive. I am alive! I am.


 1 “Coming Home” in A Strange Summer by Chris Vannoy
 2 “Memorial for Stephanie” in Available Light by Sandy Coomer
 3 “Here and Now: My Life Today” in Words Bursting in Air by Janice Alper
 4 “A Pan African Mask Speaks” in Classic Kwanzaa Poems: New and Selected by JohnnieRenee Nelson
 5 “Carpathia” in Carpathia by Cecilia Woloch

 6 “Lifeline” in Girl with Death Mask by Jennifer Givhan