Katie Rendon Kahn–Selected Works


It could have been my son
in his shoes
with an ego
larger than the sum
of his experiences,
in a situation advancing
beyond the horizons
of foresight.

Like his mother,
I would have reflected
privately, begged
for peace, blamed
my shortcomings.
Like Mike’s mother
I mourn.

But, like Ferguson,
with its structures collapsing,
I’d self-destruct
I’d let my rage burn
through my city
and my streets.

Like Ferguson,
I’d wear my pain.
I’d want the world
to see the burns
and the scars
and the tears
until they could no longer
not to see.


Divide and Conquer

We have been lied to.
We have been told
that we are divided
by differences that
don’t mean a damn to me.

Don’t bite the bait.
Don’t believe
that we are enemies
because of a difference
in melatonin or chromosomes.
We are the same.

We will bleed red
in the streets
fighting a black and white
war when the problem
is technicolor.
You are not my enemy.

Within our borders
there are too many lines
drawn in the sand,
too many fringed edges,
too many sides to the same story
to remain unmoved
in a moment of another’s pain.
You are my ally.

I will speak up
when other’s speak ill
and I will reach out
when the path seems
too dark to follow.
I will help you rebuild
what has been destroyed
and to create what has only
been dreamed.

We have been lied to.
You are not my enemy,
I am your ally.
We have work to do.


A State of Emergency

The fire starter stood
with a match in his hand
and sparks flickering in his eyes.
He wonders where the helicopters were yesterday.
The Channel 3 news didn’t cover
his best friend’s death
but he saw the Kardashians
on three stations.

He knows how they’ll spin this,
what people will say.
He knows it seems senseless
to those watching,
to burn down his own home.
But they are watching.

It takes a stampede to arouse
the sleeping,
an angry accusation,
a war-cry percussion
and smoke billowing through the sky
in code signals for help

before they’ll listen

but they hear him now.
Now they’re listening.


Katie Rendon Kahn lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida, where she chases adventure and poetry prompts with her children. Kahn and her 11 year old daughter turned a poem about places they wanted to see into a children’s book series called “World Adventures.” But, that hasn’t stopped her from continuing to write about the grown up stuff, too.Her poems have appeared in The Blackwater Review, Broken Publications, Diverse Voices Quarterly, The Barefoot Review, and other anthologies.