This poem was chosen and sent out as part of the Academy of American Poets’ poem-a-day program today, January 27th, 2017. As soon as I read it I knew I wanted to give it to you. Not because I think you are heavy – I know you are each different – but because I think this poem can bring a ray of sunlight to the mind, no matter where the body is at, and can help heal any warring crevasse between the two.
This poem is copyright 2017 by Hieu Minh Nguyen and published on https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/heavy.
The narrow clearing down to the river
I walk alone, out of breath
my body catching on each branch.
Small children maneuver around me.
Often, I want to return to my old body
a body I also hated, but hate less
Sometimes my friends—my friends
who are always beautiful & heartbroken
look at me like they know
I will die before them.
I think the life I want
is the life I have, but how can I be sure?
There are days when I give up on my body
but not the world. I am alive.
I know this. Alive now
to see the world, to see the river
rupture everything with its light.
Above is Hieu Minh Nguyen’s image from his bio on poets.org.
Image of a heron at top of page is credited to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region – Great Blue Heron Uploaded by AlbertHerring, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29815482