I think we’re cultivating a theme here, aren’t we? It feels like our zeitgeist has embraced an added layer, one that is never guaranteed but must be claimed through active choice. Renewal after loss, rebirth after trauma, clawing our way back from horror, finding peace and maybe even solutions when you emerge from the season of teeth and judgment. (And thanks to Bucky Rea for that memorable phrase which I have been referencing since college and will probably continue to refer to for another twenty-five years, at least, because human condition.)
This soothing poem from Paige Poe feels right for today.
Simple Measures for Desperate Times
When the world sullies your soul,
Gather the grass stained knees, sweaty half-moons
Down to the river Lethe and scrub
Until the swirling waters erase your pain.
Find an open field. Stretch out your heart strings.
Pin up the soaking, ragged edges and watch them
Billow with each heavy breath, drying
In the morning glow,
under a cornflower sky.
Your worries will rise with the butterflies
And recycle someday as rain, falling into
Your curiously outstretched palms.
As you fold, tucking arms under body, sleeve to sleeve,
Try not to think about the horror beyond
The chore’s horizon, the circle of pain
That brought you, kneeling, to the river’s lip.
Repeat as often as needed.
This poem was originally published in eleven40seven spring 2018.
Paige Poe is a feminist poet, wordsmith, and movement teacher based out of Houston. She graduated from Texas Christian University in 2018 with a degree in theatre and English, and her work has been published in Vamp Cat Magazine, eleven40seven, Texas’ Best Emerging Poets of 2017, and Brave Voices Magazine. Currently, Paige works as a freelance ghostwriter and editor. She also teaches yoga and creative movement, and her physical practice deeply inspires her art. You can find her at paigegpoe.com and on Instagram as paige_outofmybook.