Poet Jane Hirshfield said "... the feeling I have about poem-writing (is) that it is always an exploration, of discovering something I didn't already know.  Who I am shifts from moment to moment, year to year.  What I can perceive does as well.  A new poem peers into mystery, into whatever lies just beyond the edge of knowable ground."

I bring a different poem to the writing classes each week, not only to inspire but to introduce new poets to the group members.

The Shopper by Naomi Shihab Nye

I visit the grocery store	
like the Indian woman in Peru
attends the cathedral.
Saying a few words over and over;	
butter, bread, apples, butter    bread    apples.

I nod to the grandmothers muttering among roots.
Their carts tell stories: they eat little, they live alone.
Last week two women compared their cancers
matter-of-factly as I compare soups.
How do you reach that point of acceptance?
Life and death shoved in the same basket	
and you with a calm face waiting at the checkout stand.

We must bless ourselves with peaches.
Pray to the eggplant, silent among her sisters	,	
that the seeds will not be bitter on her tongue.
Confess our fears to the flesh of tomato:	
we go forward only halfway ripened
dreaming of the deeper red.

~ from Everything Comes Next (Greenwillow Books, 2020)


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