Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Month of Favorite Poetry, Day #23

I usually enjoy poems that employ a sense of being that I can relate to.  Oftentimes, they are about enlightenment, or they magnify the experience of simply existing in this lifetime.  And when they do portray suffering, it's a suffering I can relate to.

However, poetry (like any good literature) must sometimes take you across barriers and open your eyes to the world beyond your personal world.  That is what endears this piece to me.  It's education in the way and shows you a true kind of suffering, the kind of suffering for which the only kind of relief would be to stand in the rain and try to ignore the pain you're running away from.  This is also the kind of poem that opens your mind to the good that you have, the dire position of it's character pulls you into a place of gratitude through sheer empathy.  At least that's what it did for me.


A 16-Year-Old Girl Who's Standing

A 16-year-old girl
who's standing
on the corner of Grand and Miracle Streets
at 11 in the evening
in a tired little dress

A 16-year-old girl
who's standing like an i
under an arcade
She's not waiting for a bus
she's not waiting for anyone
it's just that at her house
her hungry mother
is about to die

she'd rather be standing there
at 11 in the evening
in the cold under the Grand Street
arcade.


from Poet's Choice by Edward Hirsch, 2006

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