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Supposing You Had A Reason

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(Ok, last one... promise... found in storage today some of my very old poems I wrote in High school. Hope you enjoy.) This one was written with respect to Langston Hughes. (was written as an assignment from my 11th grade AP English teacher...) 



"The instructor said,

         'Go home and write

         A page tonight

         And let that page come out of you --

         Then, it will be true.' 


Though it be a bit larger than a page

This; the paper I find come out of me in rage,

I have to write or you could set me in a cage




Supposing that he is not as rich as thee,

What makes him more or him less free?

If he has fewer possessions see, how's that effect your decency?


Supposing he had not gone to school and learned about you,

Does that make him less human, mortal, or innocent too?

What if you were put in his shoes, how would you feel collecting dew?


Supposing you were he, and all you thought you held dear fled,

What if you couldn't tell me your next meal or your bed?

But what if you had enough, but only enough to rent a shed?


Supposing you were, you did, you had, or hadn't, nor sought,

Can you justify your actions, for you are not?

What give the right to judge on a man's background; poor or rot?


Supposing he is crude, bitter or rude, unethical or smug,

What makes you despise him makes you like the mug!

Does answering hatred for hatred do anything more than to move the rug?


Supposing he had the right to smile, you know him less than you know me,

So, how succumb you to think him a vagrant be?

What right have you to label him a savage for all to see?


Supposing you knew, you were there to witness his life,

What if you witnessed what he saw, if you saw the strife?

When his father, drunk, would beat him to a pulp with no reason for a fight.


Supposing you heard the cursing he put up with as even a child, they'd all but shout;

Foul language directed at him from the dining room, living room, outdoors....; ringing loud.

What if his only example was of abuse and curses, if no pity met his tears aroused?


Supposing all this, I say, you don't know the circumstances.

What's more, treating hatred like-wise only adds tips to his lances.

If hatred is his only example and upbringing, correction of love enhances. 


Supposing he's as ugly as a pig or as blond as the sun,

Could you possibly do him more harm than the scum?

What if he's a Jew, a German, a Spaniard, or a bloody French nun?


Supposing he had a defect or a disease, maybe an accident.

What appearance of look or blood, place or faith could mean a cent

To subtract his character or respectability, as if that need have to repent.


Supposing he has no collar, a blue color, or even a pink,

If he was a garbage man, a painter, a kitchen chef, or an internet link,

What does it matter if you're a judge, a doctor, or a lawyer, do you think?


Supposing we had no janitors, what would happen to our facilities?

What if there was no minimal jobs? Why, our nation would fully cease! 

And while a doctor can save a life, a chef can save a visit with just a little ability.


Supposing his skin is black, yellow, tan, white, orange, or blue,

Does that change his character, rights, or ability? Here's a clue,

What impudency of retardancy loves to linger on is the discriminators hue.


Supposing he's, Oh! God forbid, richer than you!

Why should you connive behind his back actions to consume?

What reasons do you have? He's smarter? More clever? Fiscal I presume?


Supposing those can't be the reason... is your ego really that big!?

What does more power or more money give you? Not enough to take a swig!

How can possessions please, but to broaden the need for more digs.


Supposing he's more well known, a celebrity perhaps, or a prick.

 If he's ignorant, yet more popular, a diva that gets away with the stick,

 What's that to you? You  should have more pity on him; he's in worse conditions than the hick!


Supposing you have more character, but he gets more credit,

What makes those green eyes glow? Any other way, I wouldn't have it!

You do what is right, that's sufficient; deservingly, one way or another, the creep will get it.


Supposing he is crooked, haughty, and/or corrupt,

It'd be best not to retaliate, deviate or plan until sun-up;

What time will tell is often better; sooner or later, society will correct itself and he will get hung-up.


Supposing he is illegal or a fiend, or just plain despicable,

A monstrocity hidden from the public, is your timing impeccable?

What good will vigilante actions do? Very little if he is respectable.


Supposing the greens get the best of you, what would you have to say for yourself?

What reason would you have to draw attention to yourself by self-help?

Why risk giving the police something to look at, or the 'blood hound' a field day: to set you in a vertical shelf?


Supposing you decide not to wage a person war, being all the wiser,

What attracts the paparazzi is a hint and a bit of research, press for hire.

Place the news in the hands of the media or report it, and his house will set itself on fire.


Supposing he's rich and straight, a combination rarely seen, yet existent;

Could you possibly stereotype the exceptional? Sure, but it wouldn't be fair to the recipient. 

What good would despising the righteous do? But to mirror an image of your intent. 


Supposing you had ill-intent for such a man, how are you any better than a fiend?

For to have a man of such is an attribute to how capitalism is deemed,

What makes it work and tick relies on such men, despising is no less foolish than it seems.


Supposing he is older than ye, with gray hair and beard, way over the hill,

What he's seen makes him all the wiser, of knowledge if lesser will.

Respect is warranted and deemed a proper if you want, in this world, a place to fill.


Supposing he is not as old as you, but ever so younger too,

With his naivety and your experience, a match to fit seems all too few.

What makes the match uncanny? You're out dated, and he's got not a clue.


Supposing his pride overshoots his head, and all the more ignorant,

What's a plan better suited than to have experience learn the impotent?

To pass on knowledge to the next generation. To free the innocent.


Supposing he's all he says and more, a genius in his own right. 

A smart with the aleck on the optional; naive to the tip with knowledgable might.

What new education be the next generation, being naive; will no help be in sight?


Supposing his new ideas and young wit exists, will old mistakes be visited?

What cause would you have not to mentor the child? Wisdom can't be rented.

Old will pass, and the new will rise; better wise than meet demise, as hinted.


Supposing he's a decrepit old war veteran, doin' not too swell,

What's impeccably an old recluse, if not for you, any all could tell.

A man a grump, louse, unresponsive, haughty, and a pain from hell:


Supposing he's rude, hard of hearing, of language that's damnable, and hard strung,

Who complains non-stop; a man who'd bring out a gun if a bird but sung:

What compels you to stay is simple, if found, if motive be well hung.


Supposing you got hi mot talk, if he, aloud, reminiscence on experience,

What, do you suppose, he would say if he let none hidden, no hesitance?

Could you imagine? Would you believe? To prove? There is no measurement.


Supposing he told you about his training, how they were trained to kill,

That in war, you hadn't want no friends; no attachment fill.

What those who do get so close, when bullets start to fly, and people start to die; they lose their will.


Supposing he had learned by experience; he had a friend he looked to.

What one did, the other backed, they protected each other. Helps too few.

War is hectic. Things happen. He survived, but lost man after man on the lou.


Supposing man after man died beside him; he became to all indifferent.

To survive, he became lost to the world, hardened by wars' terror, no resistant.

What was left after death of camaraderie and society; cause inconsistent.


Supposing he, by battle hardened, came to be who we see.

What inclination could cause you to blame what experienced he?

He, with personal sacrifice and patrioticity; with humble servant's pity should we be.


Supposing he is a politician, or a lawyer. A man who thrives on arguments.

Whose success depends on how well he can spin and implement.

What causes you to despise only gives him reason for his cause to supplement. 


Supposing you had a cause to hate, could you possibly justify it?

What reason could you bring to be callous toward him with such grit?

A man who defends a man whether right or nay, and could allow guilty rit.


Supposing such men did not exist, what do you think would happen to our freedom?

Without due process of law, how shaped we be but of a witch hunt of heathdom?

What would our democracy be, but an oxymoron, see; who has need for such a kingdom.


Supposing there is a better process, where is it? Show me, and I will correct this;

What can we do in a world where fabrication could be anything just?

And doubt includes every evidence, any piece, no decency trust remiss.


Supposing you are convicted of your innocence, all evidence points to you innocuous;

You've been set up, but how are they supposed to know? All's superfluous.

What would you rather, your lawyer take the evidence as fact, or plead your case in spite of this?


Supposing he is a reporter; a self-indulging, half-preserving, one-sided conformist;

What animosity you have for such a person only makes your public light diminish.

If, you say, only he did his job and was the devil's advocate, as ma admonished!


Supposing we had no press, no news service, or paper, or radio channel space.

Could you possibly imagine the digression we would face?

What could give an inclination of their worthlessness in that case?


Supposing they gave no discretion what-so-ever, could you imagine the harm inflicted?

What would you rather? Digression? Non-discretion? Or a conformist? What would be more resisted?

Could you decide which would be best? As for me, I'd rather it stay at least consistent.


Supposing he's loco, weird, dorky, a jerk, a drunk, or a slut.

What if he's a sailor, a soldier, a pilot, or an old crab who lives in a hut.

Could any occupation, background, looks, or other ever justify your action? Could it possibly get you out of a rut?


Supposing you think me; full of it. This nonsense seems to be eluding wisdom and wit.

If you think I'd be offended by it, let me say this; your entitlety, respectfully, is unhit.

What you say, I respect. All opinions are valid, and rightfully so, but I say this; this came from the heart, or I would not have rit.


Supposing, who-ever he may be, you have a reason to hate him. Could you do more harm than to show your animosity?

Do you think you could change his character? Can hatred do anything? How 'bout some pity?

What good would come from it? What defiance could ever cause you subsidy?


Supposing all this, what cause would you have? For to only hurt will abound.

What point could there be for malice or animosity? It's misplaced; it will only confound.

To hate will shape who you are, as your actions do, and others react accordingly sound.


Supposing you had a reason; a reason for despair, loneliness and destruction. Why?

If you had a reason to hate, to despise those least innate, or those of stature. You could, but why?

What? Why? Supposing you had a reason, what could it be? Would you tell me? What reason? Why? 




This is my page for English AP. 

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Thank you for sharing this emotionally powerful poem, Jared. As a former writing professor, I love what your own instructor said to you:

"And let that page come out of you --
 Then, it will be true."

The words of a great teacher! 




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