As we face yet another round of the Coronavirus, we have to reach deep within us for the faith to continue to look for light in darkness. I love this poem by my hometown poet, C.J. Suitt (poet laureate of Chapel Hill, North Carolina) which reminds us that like everything else, this time will pass.  In the meantime, there are gifts of light everywhere if we only look for them.  I’ve linked the video of C.J. reading the poem at the end of the post. 

In The Aftermath

In the aftermath
I’m sure I’ll feel like a tourist
passing through my own life
I’ll add up my subtractions
Stand in the great divide
Multiplying the things I have left

In the aftermath of all this
I’ll sing with you
In a choir stand
On street corners and at my favorite karaoke night
Stroll aimlessly around the mall
Even though I hated the mall
We’ll brush shoulders and walk down the same aisles

I’ll make you a meal
I’ll never leave the party early
Without a really good excuse
And we’ll dance
Bump and grind
Spin and dip
I’ll give you a spoon full of my ice cream
Let you try my beer
A fork full of my favorite dessert
Pass homemade dishes around a full potluck dinner table
We’ll have hugs so close and tight
The world will burst into giggles

I’ll hold my friend’s children
Kiss the foreheads of my nieces and nephews
I’ll bump your hand as we walk down the sidewalk
We’ll hold hands without guilt
You won’t have to look for the smile in my eyes
Above my mask
We’ll get a window seat
As we watch friends and lovers gather
On lawns and in courtyards

I’ll remember the things that brought me strength
The ways I gave and was given to
How I learned to pause
And breathe in the day
How I made a feast of my feelings
And served it up
poem after poem
Seeing myself
both seed and tree

The world will see me in full color
Black and American
A resilient ancestry
We’ll hold our leaders and officers
Won’t be so well adjusted to injustice
And allow suffering to speak
We will get to work
And heal together

In the aftermath
I’ll reach into my pocket
For a letter from my past self
That reads
Will be
Here for you
Yes always and forever
Even when the world stops
When the cards have all folded
And you are in between the lines”

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