What do you need to remember today?
Maybe it’s that your senses
are the language of your body,
and your body, the portal to your soul.
Maybe it’s that worthiness
has little to do with what you do
because it’s a birthright of all life.
Maybe it’s that your children
are your compass; your way forward appears by orienting toward what will follow.
Maybe it’s that when you stand in the light, there will always be a shadow, which
carries important information too.
Maybe it’s that remembering means more
than accessing memories from the past; it’s piecing together the disconnected parts.
Maybe it’s that the, misplaced comma
that breaks a seamless flow, wants you to take your time; create more space for slow.
Maybe it’s that attention follows intention, and intention is always inspired by interaction with life itself.
Maybe it’s that every time you read this poem, you see something new, because poetry can only be a momentary reflection of you.
Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:
He wanted a poem about our shared humanity and our resilience as a community. “I believe we each have a role to play in civil society and in our own communities,” he began. “The fear, discord, anxiety, and dissonance are symptoms of our current state of community, and I’d like this poem to be an aspirational offering as a path forward.” His personal core mission as an individual was to be a good role model for his children. He expressed that he was deeply committed to taking action as an individual, a community member, a father, a physician, and an American. He often contemplated the alignment of these various layers of effort. He also constantly asked himself what more he could do now, in the face of a pandemic and institutional, systemic racism, to uplift, aspire, and inspire. Though he wasn’t dejected, he did struggle with the question, “Is what I’m doing enough?” Lastly, he shared that poetry had been an important expressive tool for him. “Injecting humanity and humanities into science is of great importance to me,” he said. “I’d like this poem to really cause me to think; I’d like to interact with it.”
Interviewee: Anonymous, Staff
Listener Poet: Jenny Hegland