Friday, January 6, 2023

Write from a T-Shirt

Choose Love T-Shirt
Photo by Amy LV

Students - Our city of Buffalo, NY experienced a very sad and difficult last year with a racially motivated mass shooting in a grocery store, a paralyzing storm, and most recently a grave injury to Damar Hamlin, a young player for The Buffalo Bills. 

Today's poem grew from my admiration for Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott, Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor, the players from both teams, medical professionals, our community, and all who have been so kind. If you watch football, you will notice that the Bills helmets have one of three decals on the back: Stop Hate, End Racism, or Choose Love.

Last week, my husband sent t-shirts with the words Choose Love to all of his old high school friends. They're a big group, and they enjoy watching Bills games together from across the country, texting and chatting through the plays. These t-shirts 100% benefit the Buffalo Together Commuity Response Fund, "created to work together toward a more just and equitable community after the horrific mass shooting in Buffalo, NY, on May 14, 2022." If you are interested in purchasing one, you may do so HERE

Today's poem came from a grateful place inside of me, a place that honors all of the people who have responded with leadership and rightness during tragedies. It also, simply enough, comes from a t-shirt.

Read the t-shirts you see. Might there be some words you could write from?

Think about who you admire. What words do they say or embody that might lift you into a poem?

Catherine is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Reading to the Core with a poem about change and the story of how it came to be. Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.

May Damar Hamlin continue to get well, and may we all learn from the examples of great leaders.



Please share a comment below if you wish. 
If you are under 13 years old, please only comment with a parent
or as part of a group with your teacher.


  1. What a lovely tribute to all those who choose love, especially during difficult moments. I'll be looking at t-shirts with new eyes.

  2. Amy, it is good to hear your perspective about the area you are near. There has been so many issues in Buffalo that it saddens me. Your poem provides inspiration and a wonderful mantra for children and adults. I do like the idea of writing from a T-Shirt. It is such a simple activity that should perk the interest of many children. I would like to add your lesson and beautiful poem to my February professional development workshop on Zoom. I think the teachers will benefit from your blog site.

  3. Your commentary is as beautiful as your poem. May the Buffalo and Buffalo Bills communities heal (especially Damar Hamlin), and may new strength and more positive leadership come from these tragedies.

  4. I read this poem yesterday in school and got all teared up. I'm from western NY and know how important the Bills are to the entire area. Even though I'm not an especial football fan, the tragedy on Sunday had an impact on me. Thank you for writing this poem and thank you for sharing the T-shirt link.

  5. This is such a lovely gesture. Thinking about the Buffalo community. There's been a lot going on in the past few months!

  6. T-shirts may contain some of the best poems - essential, to the point. Choose love. St Therese reminds us also: Do what love requires. Thank you, Amy.

  7. Thank you for your generosity and kindness, Amy. You never cease to inspire and always make me grateful that I know you. Looking forward to your new book!!!!

  8. How wonderful to hear of Mark's gift to his buddies, Amy. There certainly are many t-shirts with wise words in our world & "Choose Love" is one of them. I was watching when Damar Hamlin was injured, terrifying right then. But it is terrific to hear of the outpouring of support for him. The grocery shooting made its sad anniversary this past week and it was nice to read of the support for those involved, too. It's lovely that you wrote about both.

  9. The best answer fits / like a friend / a glove. That's beautiful, Amy. Love to you.

  10. Thank you for this love-filled post, Amy. Your poem is perfect, and I will keep it in my heart to guide me through the challenges we face each day.