Spoken Word

I wrote this for a benefit concert/auction a couple of friends and I are organizing. My friends are incredibly creative and donated art/photos for the silent auction, so when I asked how I could help, they suggested I write something to be read aloud at the concert.

I had a bit of difficulty for a couple of reasons:
1) I don’t know anything about needing or lacking water, so I didn’t feel like I could write a story that realistically described it without sounding like a guilt trip or something too saccharine for my taste.
2) I decided to do a spoken word poem which was intimidating. I finally had to ignore the fear. As long as I imagine someone else (read: someone way cooler than me) reading this, it works:

I can’t write what I don’t know so I can’t write of thirst

My world is myself, me & I
What I want I can buy
I don’t need second tries
So I can’t write of thirst in this world where I always come first.

I can’t speak of
Miles each way
in the heat of the day
with the sun all ablaze
on my back

or of filling two jugs
while picking out bugs
and filtering mud
til the water’s not black

or of holding my baby
fever high and eyes hazy
and instead of school days he
follows in my tracks

no we don’t know of thirst
at worst we’re immersed
we lay beside waters so still
and our souls are re-filled
with all that I have
then what can I give
to help others live
the lives He designed
a life with potential
clean water’s essential
I hear the voice of my Father
it can’t be a bother
no time for nonchalance
because this responsibility
demands a response.

My cup overflows
I find seeds I can sow
and with God’s help they’ll grow
into life-giving springs
dust to beautiful things
the people we serve
get the life they deserve
and the health that they need
the knowledge to succeed
so the last become first
until none know of thirst.