In Defense of the English Major


Washington State
United States

“English Major”

Just a mouthful of syllables

Only a small bite that their teeth grind to dust

Which they pour down my throat with a disapproving smirk

To them, it gushes with the bitter taste of a prison sentence

Condemning me to a lifetime of meager salaries

And an endless cycle of “Would you like fries with that?”

They’ll always soldier on, rattling the cage of my rationality

Prosecuting the sanity of others like me

And they’ll never understand

That when I try to navigate that labyrinth of equations

Or unravel that vicious tangle of numbers

It only purchases me a first-class ticket

To distant country called “Lost” on the border of “Confused”


But the words, to me, are different

They weave their nests in the valleys between sleep and waking

Hovering in the air like floating fragments of sky

Spinning ribbons of music out of the stagnant threads of silence

Poetry, with its gossamer wisps of staccato and legato lines

Is trapped inside the very breath

That surges through the bellows of my lungs

And when my skin is pricked open

Dewdrops of black-and-white prose will surface

My fingerprints leave behind all the stories that I have yet to tell

Percolating, like a bubbling pot of coffee, in the ocean of my thoughts


They will never grasp what a terrible disservice it is to tell me

 I am “Just an English Major”

In my eyes, the words will never be empty and lifeless as they see them,

Like the corpses of preserved specimens on display in novels and textbooks

 I witness them blooming with purpose and bursting with life

And the more of them that I devour

Scribbling their pulsing colors onto the canvas of my soul

The more like them I become

Dripping with radiant possibility





Fantastic poem.  You are an amazing writer!


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