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Arts & Culture
These articles were excerpted from Tapestry, a weekly newsletter that examines the arts and entertainment world in Charlotte and North Carolina.

The North Carolina Ties To NPR's Latest Community Poem

Anti Asian Hate Rally
Victoria Pickering
April is National Poetry Month, and one Asheville resident contributed to NPR's community poem that focused on grappling with discrimination, "Today, I Am A Witness To Change."

Victoria Crane-Lindsey was listening to NPR one day recently while she drove home from an appointment in Asheville. She heard "Morning Edition" host Rachel Martin mention something about a community poem that listeners could contribute to, with the theme of how people grapple with increased violence and discrimination in the wake of attacks against Asian Americans.

And Crane-Lindsey was motivated.

"I was just really moved by the community process of bringing together the crowd-sourced poem," she said. "And I got home and was just inspired and submitted it."

The poem "Today, I Am A Witness To Change," was created by NPR resident poet Kwame Alexander, using submissions from 38 people across the country. Two were from North Carolina.

It wasn't too much longer when Crane-Lindsey was listening to NPR, again. And she heard the poem read aloud on air.

Crane-Lindsey heard the line "Today I offer a slice of my own wounded soul to graft a love patch" and she knew it came from her submission, "Today."

"I thought it was exciting, but it was tempered really, because if you hear the whole thing, there's a lot of pain in there," Crane-Lindsey said.

She only recently began writing poetry, she said, as part of a class she is taking for her master's program in sustainability — but said she definitely plans to continue.

Read her full submission below.


Today I ache
Beauty in the garden and of spring
belies the ugly winter in hearts

Today I acknowledge I must do more
Where to start?
how can my actions
help soften yesterday’s wrongs

Today I still wonder
how souls can turn
on others so easily

Tomorrow wills for more compassion,
a unity of us, them, we

Today I offer a slice
of my own wounded soul
to graft a love patch

A patchwork piece
for that more perfect union

Today our country quilt is tattered,
ragged, and full of tears
but one patch of kindness
threads the needle

Tomorrow asks if today
we will become the filament
that holds the pieces together

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