A poem by Angela Davis
entitled "What Do I Know"

What do I know
What can I know
What fine lessons
What have been taught

I know the pain-
bitter, burning
as it poisons
my very soul

Oh, humiliation-
now that is a long word
with a larger effect
shame, heaped upon oneself

I know despair-
hopeless, wanting
needing, dying
from inside out

Now the degradation-
there is yet another
treated like you are less
and worse, feeling like less

How I know suffering
and much mental anguish
it's intolerable
death would be a release

What it is like
to be haunted
by memories
regret, sorrow

Then survival-
an existence
does not mean life

I know wondrous hope-
giving me reason
to continue on
with this thing called life

there is a big word
the will, and desire
to fight and strive- live

What about the joy-
of simply being
you and that is all
and that is enough

Then there is love, sweet love-
the biggest word of all
giving hope, and freedom
it is beautiful

What do I know
What can I know
What fine lessons
What has been taught

Without the bad
we would never
what good we have

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