stay beautiful

Posted by on Oct 26, 2014 in T. Cole Rachel | No Comments
stay beautiful

stay beautiful

in this photo, a sign
by which I passed–both willingly
and sometimes, unwillingly–
for the first 18 years of my life
on an almost daily basis
perched on the outskirts of town, this simple marquee
has stood guard for decades, whitewashed annually
but quick to weather
it is the last thing one sees
when leaving this place
stay beautiful – a plea written in rust
a roughly hewn request, a suggestion
for living, a way of trying
to somehow always be: beautiful
or, as it often felt to me–teenaged
and driving towards an evasive horizon
–a welded warning: stay beautiful
or else

-T. Cole Rachel

 

Note: In my Poetry & Photography class at CCNY I ask my students to write poems based on their own photographs. Every week I try and do the exercises with them, which has been one of the greatest things about teaching the class. I feel like I’m often compelled to write poems that I might never have otherwise. The above poem was written about a photo that I took back in my Oklahoma hometown. I think it pretty much explains itself.