Debtors By Lucy Gunderson Klonsky


It is an itching feeling that my grandfather hands to me
Through a photo album, through the window of his cab
Three coats on and an angry smile
One that sits under your skin, and constricts like wool
Hot in the face, like my mother, thin from waiting tables,
And printing newspapers, and making phone calls for bail
Hands pushed against the counter like my grandmother
A cigarette, a pen, and a union card,
The bitter taste of silence in your mouth when you know people are listening
Pacing, like my father, phone in the microwave, the radio wailing,
The smell of petrol in a bottle
My inheritance all ink stains and megaphones
Arrest records to be proud of, an outrage that has been building for generations,
My great grandfathers gun, the way we say the old party,
Changed names, bugs in the walls, singing the color red until you cry,
A drunken promise, The earth shall rise on new foundations,
Feet that don’t bleed anymore, a church that isn’t God but his people,
It is a crawling, screeching feeling, fed to me in childhood,
A chorus and a meal and the heave of lungs, that tell you
Revolution is an act of love, but also memory
Move fast, keep quiet,
They are debtors even if they don’t know it yet

By Lucy Gunderson Klonsky


Lucy Gunderson Klonsky is a 17 year old poet, writer, and high school student at the NYC iSchool, living in Brooklyn, New York. She has previously had her poetry published in City College’s Annual Spring Poetry Festival: Poetry in Performance 46, having received first prize in the city wide competition of the same name.

Leave a Reply