News Poetry: Dear Congress

Dear Congress

I never want to write another poem
titled: again

So I’m sending you a pen

I never want to hear the cries
the shattering bullets
from an automatic weapon
designed only to kill people
as fast as possible
so I’m sending you a pen

I’m sending you a brand new shiny pen
like you got on your first day of school
so you can begin to write
new, shiny laws

I want to read happy stories
in the local newspaper
of the grade-school kids
rescuing a duckling from the storm-drain
rather than cowering quietly
under a desk

so I’m sending you a pen

I never want to count
Flag-draped coffins
being unloaded from foreign planes
so I’m sending you a pen

Dear enacters of laws
there are children born on this soil
to parents that entered in the night
who need your shield
your lighting-the-lamps
so I’m sending you a pen

I want our elections to be safe
from rigging and hacking
and accessible to all citizens
so I’m sending you a pen

I want our people to have access
to our wonderful doctors and healers
without the fear of losing their homes
so I’m sending you a pen

I want laws that protects
our sky and oceans
more than the companies that spew
poisonous chemicals
and explode the shale
under our neighborhoods for oil
so I’m sending you a pen

Dear Congress,
I want to stand proudly beside you
as you use your courageous ink
to champion: We The People
so I’m sending you a pen


Photo credit: Toshiyuki IMAI, Creative Commons, Flickr 

Valerie Szarek calls herself a Medicine Poet. Her words and Native Flute are featured at festivals and events around Colorado, including the International Young Leadership Conference, Stage C, the Mercury Cafe, The Telluride Literary festival, and Ziggie’s Poetry Festivals. Her poetry book Signs of Life was a Colorado Author’s League Award finalist and received an EVVY Award. Her Poem Letters to an Unknown God won 1st place in the National Poetry Federation Winner’s Circle and was a Colorado Author’s League Finalist. Other books: 13 Moons on Turtles Back, Gratuitous Beauty; 14 Days and Nights in Prague. See her work at


  1. This pretty much captures what I think we can almost all agree upon (well, maybe not the corporations!) it’s good to see someone trying to communicate with those in a position to make a difference. If only they can hear it.

  2. My thanks for printing “Dear Congress,in your journal. It and the accompanying photograph of the pen on this website reminded me of the power of that simple instrument of the mind.

  3. Timely and poignant poem. Poetry will always be the hope that lives in our hearts and souls. Thanks and hi Valerie!

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