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Day 08: Learning Poetry


Today is National Poetry day, so I want to share one of my favorites with you.

I first heard it from my friend Stephen, during our cross-country road trip at the start of this year. Somewhere in the Utah desert, probably.

Though the winter, I had bits and pieces of this poem written on the window above my bed; when I was falling asleep alone at night I’d whisper these words to myself:

“Love After Love” || By Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.


About a year ago, I started carrying scraps of poetry with me. Folded into my wallet. Copied in my journal. Taped to the window above my sink.

I don’t know the first thing about poetry, but I know that there’s something there I’m supposed to stop and notice. Wisdom and beauty to absorb. So I’ve been trying to learn.

And slowly, these lines are becoming part of me.

I hope you love them as much as I do.

During the month of October, I’m joining the Write31Days challenge to talk about 31 Days of Becoming Human. Click here to read all posts in the series

published October 8, 2015

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