Megan Bean / Mississippi State University

This segment of The Inform[H]er, our monthly women and girls newsletter, usually features a Q&A with a woman leader, but this month as COVID continues to impact life as we know it and just 40% of the state is fully vaccinated, we are featuring a poem from the state’s poet laureate. 

Catherine Pierce is the Poet Laureate of Mississippi and the author of four books of poems, most recently Danger Days

All of Our Stories Are One Story

So many of our stories start with gratitude:

if not for the late nights my mother worked,

if not for my 5th grade teacher handing me that book,

if not for my brother reaching out to stop me

stepping off the curb as the red car sped by.

So many of our stories start with courage:

I went off the high dive, I called the doctor,

I took the job, I quit the job, I told the truth.

Our stories are each other’s: mother and child,

brother and brother, high-diver and cheering friends.

We are writing this story together, and every day

we add to it: plot point, character development,

twist, twist, twist. When our story is done,

let them say we were brave in our love. Let them say

how bravely we kept one another safe.

— Catherine Pierce

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