hey nineteen: march pieces

Poem: Summing Up by Claribel Alegria

In the sixty-three years
I have lived
some instants are electric:
the happiness of my feet
jumping puddles
six hours in Machu Picchu
the buzzing of the telephone
while awaiting my mother’s death
the ten minutes it took
to lose my virginity
the hoarse voice
announcing the assassination
of Archbishop Romero
fifteen minutes in Delft
the first wail of my daughter
I don’t know how many years yearning
for the liberation of my people
certain immortal deaths
the eyes of that starving child
your eyes bathing me in love
one forget-me-not afternoon
the desire to mold myself
into a verse
a cry
a fleck of foam.

                  — translated from the Spanish
        by the author and Darwin T. Flakoll

Thought: Morgan Harper Nichols on when strength doesn’t look like strength

“A year ago, you didn’t know you could be this strong. You didn’t know that all along, courage was rising up within you. Back then, it just seemed like you were trying to make it through. It just felt like you were trying to survive when all of the odds were stacked against you. You didn’t realize that every late night you fought through and every early morning you woke up to was a beautiful light-woven reminder that you were far from finished yet. It did not feel like it then, but the seeds you were sowing were being watered. What seemed like it was only rain was actually the nourishment you needed to grow into the next stage.”

Song: The Snow It Melts The Soonest by Anne Briggs