Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year: Burning 2015

This poem...it speaks to me. I copied it, by hand, into my little poetry notebook yesterday. And it was a struggle. Not because it was hard to use good penmanship, but rather because it stirs up so many emotions. Leaving a year behind is often celebrated. Resolutions and confetti stuffed down our throats and thrown in our faces. There is so much more to it than that.

I have a friend. Well, she's more than a friend. And she recently moved away. Far away. I came within an angstrom of giving her this as a going away present. But I chickened out. I give it to you, instead, with hopes that it finds its way to her.

Burning the Old Year

BY NAOMI SHIHAB NYE
Letters swallow themselves in seconds.   
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,   
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,   
lists of vegetables, partial poems.   
Orange swirling flame of days,   
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,   
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.   
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,   
only the things I didn’t do   
crackle after the blazing dies.

May your burnings be bright. And what's left after the blaze be your charge into a new year.

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