I spent my morning writing time complaining about things I’m not going to share here. Suffice to say, for now, that the writing helped, even though I’m still mad. And this.
I spent my ride home from work yesterday reading about R. Kelly. And then the news about OJ. So maybe not a great day, yesterday, for the fight against sexual assault and domestic violence, or, you know, femicide in all its forms.
So I came home and I baked bread. I did work. I watered the garden, admired the zucchini, the many green tomatoes, the purple string beans, the chard and sunflowers and potatoes and nasturtium and marigolds.
I don’t know. Is it really so difficult for us, as a people, as a human people, to be kind to one another? I know, I know — but why?
Here’s a poem for this day, because sometimes poetry is the only thing that gets in and touches the places that are lost and confused and scared and aching and need to laugh…
Boy and Egg
Naomi Shihab Nye
Every few minutes, he wants
to march the trail of flattened rye grass
back to the house of muttering
hens. He too could make
a bed in hay. Yesterday the egg so fresh
it felt hot in his hand and he pressed it
to his ear while the other children
laughed and ran with a ball, leaving him,
so little yet, too forgetful in games,
ready to cry if the ball brushed him,
riveted to the secret of birds
caught up inside his fist,
not ready to give it over
to the refrigerator
or the rest of the day.
One Boy Told Me
Naomi Shihab Nye
Music lives inside my legs.
It’s coming out when I talk.
I’m going to send my valentines
to people you don’t even know.
Oatmeal cookies make my throat gallop.
Grown-ups keep their feet on the ground
when they swing. I hate that.
Look at those 2 o’s with a smash in the middle—
that spells good-bye.
Don’t ever say “purpose” again,
let’s throw the word out.
Don’t talk big to me.
I’m carrying my box of faces.
If I want to change faces I will.
but tomorrow’s in boldface.
When I grow up my old names
will live in the house
where we live now.
I’ll come and visit them.
Only one of my eyes is tired.
The other eye and my body aren’t.
Is it true all metal was liquid first?
Does that mean if we bought our car earlier
they could have served it
in a cup?
There’s a stopper in my arm
that’s not going to let me grow any bigger.
I’ll be like this always, small.
And I will be deep water too.
Wait. Just wait. How deep is the river?
Would it cover the tallest man with his hands in the air?
Your head is a souvenir.
When you were in New York I could see you
in real life walking in my mind.
I’ll invite a bee to live in your shoe.
What if you found your shoe
full of honey?
What if the clock said 6:92
instead of 6:30? Would you be scared?
My tongue is the car wash
for the spoon.
Can noodles swim?
My toes are dictionaries.
Do you need any words?
From now on I’ll only drink white milk
on January 26.
What does minus mean?
I never want to minus you.
Just think—no one has ever seen
inside this peanut before!
It is hard being a person.
I do and don’t love you—
isn’t that happiness?
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Be easy with yourself on this Friday. Write if you’re called to write, and maybe give yourself a little time with a tree or a flower or a plant or a pet. Thanks for your words, whatever form they take…