Ebony Stewart | This Poem Is About Joy

This Poem Is About Joy

 it’s not about water

remnants evaporation or sand


or thirst or dry

fruit or hinges or


being hung       today no

one died on the


street on the side

walk in the hands


of a police officer

or guard


today a little boy

is able to play


outside and be a

child with a full



today the only time

he was asked to


put his hands up

was to show us


how he looks when

he pretends he’s flying


today a black woman

could smoke a cigarette


could laugh could do

whatever the fuck she


wanted to do with

her hair


no one called me

a nigger       today blatantly


or indirectly      today they

remembered my name      today


it sounded like joy

no matter who said



today being black was

not a reason to


die by its natural



what I mean is,

no one tried to


kill me today      no

one black or dark


skin or the wrong

shade died



today the only time

we came inside was


to gather and tell

stories      remember


when everyday was a

funeral a sad song


and a eulogy      oh

but today


the only time we

cried was when we


rejoiced      the only

hashtag we used today

was #joy      today the

handkerchiefs only wanted


to feel the faces

of the ones who


cried with joy


This poem is about joy.


it’s not about fear

or anger or sadness


them emotions come to

us too easy this


poem is not about

glass or porcelain or


fragile things or being

weak or tired or


broken or how many

times or how long


we gotta work for



This poem is about joy.


how long it stayed

how we remember it

in us


Ebony Stewart is a touring performance arts spoken word poet and active artist in the Central Texas slam poetry scene and theater arts community for over ten years. She has coached Austin Neo Soul and Austin Poetry Slam, finishing 1st and 5th at the National Poetry Slam and They Speak Youth Slam finishing 8th in the world at Brave New Voices. The only adult female three-time Slam Champion in Austin Texas has shared stages with many brilliant artists including the late Amiri Baraka. Featured in the “Texas Observer”, “For Harriet” and “The Agenda: working for LGBT economic equality”, Ebony has published The Queen’s Glory & The Pussy’s Box and Love Letters To Balled Fists. In 2015, Ebony Stewart debuted her first one woman show, “Hunger” at The VORTEX Theatre, which was nominated for a B. Iden Payne award for Outstanding Original Script and won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama. The former Sexual Health Educator with the resting bitch face sometimes known as The Gully Princess, writes because she has to and eats cupcakes for fun. #storyoftheblackgirlwinning