Posted February 25, 2021 in News Articles
This month for Mindful Poetry Moments we gathered to listen and contemplate Gregory Pardlo's poem "Wishing Well". Ben Katt, of On Being's Religious Life and Social Healing Team, led our opening meditation. And, poet and professor, Brad Aaron Modlin, led the reading and response. (If you'd like to read the full transcript, that can be found here.)
Participants responded to the prompt: "Stranger, you wished me well. We were at_______ and_______. In__, in___, and in ___I offer you this overlap." If you have a poem you'd like to share with this prompt, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Response Poems
Stranger, You Wished Me
by Kim Jackson
Stranger, you wished me
well --- we were at a time I couldn’t
see and thought I was alone
watching you crease a dollar bill into a bird
with years of stories in every fold I heard
the world whirls by as
indigo eyes gave me more than
that stoic place allowed
bruised skin tells a story
not often picked off a shelf
like peaches that blister in the sun
when they are too high to reach
Out of Sight
by Shadow Wilf
Stranger, you wished me well, we were at the periphery of the window and the crack in the glass. We slipped through right in front of their eyes and still, they did not see us. We frolicked in the shadows and subsisted on crumbs until night cast the world in soft velvets, fit for our thrones. We danced on countertops and told the secret stories that even we only half-remembered. Then the sun returned to sweep us back under the wall.
A Blue Light Over Hastings St.
by Rowe Schnure
Stranger, you wished me well
we were at a cross street
I have since forgotten the name of.
Your hands full of dinner from the
corner store. I, bare-handed
and pondering on the strange blue
light above us, stopped you for directions
which led us multiple blocks around
each others lives. And in our moment
of companionship, we offered each other
reprieve from the heaviness of
holding it all together.
Stranger, You Wished Me Well
by Geralyn Hoxsey Sparough
Stranger, you wished me well. We were in the
entrance to the Oakley Kroger and I was
leaving with my groceries. You made eye contact
and said, “Be safe out there.” I responded,
“You be safe, too! We all need a little more safety.” Thinking:
and you more than me as I gazed
at you in your badge and uniform and coffee colored beauty
separated by thirty or maybe even forty years
and the color of our skin. You huffed your agreement and there we were
two women sharing a moment
Of care and concern with and for each other; as well as healers of the world.
Stranger, I wish you better than well.
Stranger, you wished me well.
by Geeta Roopnarine
At the ruins
of an ancient temple when
I slipped on a smooth marble stone
inscribed with strange markings,
like faded footprints of a long-lost bird,
you held out your hand but
dazed from the midday heat, I stumbled.
You lent me your arm,
set me down lightly
in the shelter of a wild mouria tree.
A young boy placed a bottle in my hands
while you examined my knee.
You should be fine, just a graze and
a touch of sun, you said. I stared
into the eyes of the child, mesmerised
by the twin suns reflected there.
For a giddy moment, I saw my little boy.
His thin arms encircled and held me.
The world paused.
He’s a hugger, mam, you said,
I hope you don’t mind.