Sunday, March 27, 2022

Unwitting Gifts are Anywhere

In the Poetry Potluck sponsored by the local YMCA we write poems to semi-monthly prompts given to us by our poetry facilitator or his designee. We meet over Zoom for an hour twice a month to read aloud and chat. Through our poetry prompts and the resulting poems, we've become what feels like friends, yet most of us have not (and may never) meet in person. It's been a lovely perk during the other 'P' even we've all experienced in the past two years. Thank you, Y!

The most recent prompt for a poem was "advice/words of wisdom received." Instead of writing about a specific gift, I wrote a poem about one of my favorite notions--something a person hears inadvertently that becomes advice and can even be profoundly helpful. Nine years ago I wrote a post on the topic and published it on this blog, which I reference in this link

Here is my poem written last week on the same topic.

THE UNWITTING GIFT

Anyone can give you an unwitting gift, 

and that anyone will likely never know it.  

Offhand or sloppy is how the gift is wrapped,

its ribbon like a crumb stuck on a sleeve

            that draws you in, but goes unnoticed by another.

It’s a gulp of truth spoken in passing,

expelled like breath and enveloping you 

with an ah-ha, and unravels a knot of

worries and concerns or questions inside 

            that helps dissolve an undigested mental lump. 

Maybe you hear something on the radio 

and as your ears swallow the phrase, you realize 

how starved you were for this very thing, 

word-food which silences an unknown craving

            that soothes your insides from the inside out. 

 You might receive an unwitting gift in a checkout line,

or as anecdotal sharing in a good-friend chat, 

even from a person you don’t much care for,

but someone has brushed past you with the dustpan

            that holds the puzzle piece you didn’t know was lost.

                                                

                 


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