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Allowables: Poem by Nikki Giovanni

Today we pause with a beautiful poem by Nikki Giovanni titled “Allowables.” This poem explores the response that fear creates and the overarching theme that fear does not warrant death. This bears a deeper look into the many black lives that have been lost to police violence. Just because something scares you doesn’t mean you have the right to take its life. Paired with a very literal complement--a photograph of a spider.

allowables poem 
By: Nikki Giovanni
I killed a spider
Not a murderous brown recluse
Nor even a black widow
And if the truth were told this
Was only a small
Sort of papery spider
Who should have run
When I picked up the book
But she didn’t
And she scared me
And I smashed her
I don’t think
I’m allowed
To kill something
Because I am