Lauren Barton, 2022 Co-Youth Poet Laureate of St. Louis

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Lauren Barton is the 2022 Co-Youth Poet Laureate of St. Louis. Learn more about her by clicking on her bio page.

Check out one of Lauren’s poems below.

Pendulum Boy by Lauren Barton
Big lipped, nappy haired,
dark skinned man
Waits for the pendulum
To reach him.

The glass pendulum holds
Cryptic messages
Every man must receive
In order to be

Pale, neat haired, pink skinned man
Pushes on the pendulum.

Known by many
Pale boy controls everything
Even the force of gravity

The pendulum stops midway
In effort of making it,
To the dark-skinned man

He’s never known
What’s it’s like
To touch the pendulum.

Ancient messages
From those beyond his time
Left for those of his age
Written in a foreign tongue
Known only to those who
Inherit dark skin

These messages have been changed
By the one who dominates
The pendulum

The one-sided push and the uneven pull

Pale man always getting the upper hand
And the dark man sees that

Black man removes himself.
So that he is not himself.
Nappy haired
becomes straightened
and well groomed,
Lips are now covered by a mustache
And ain’t nothing he can
do about that skin
So he just gone have to be comfortable
In the skin that he’s in

the pale man does not acknowledge him

The pendulum

He laughs and ridicules the black man
As he tries to change himself

Because he knows
he will never be him
Never be him.
Never be him.

The pink man lets loose
Of his controlled force
And does some type of illusion

Pushes it
And when the dark man
Finally gets it,
He hangs from the pendulum.

The white man laughs and says
“This is what you wanted”

You will never be me
So stop trying to perceive me
Because this is what will happen

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