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"Reasons To Live", by Ruth Awad

A dear friend gave me the book "You Are Here. Poetry in The Natural World" as a gift, an incredible book edited and introduced by Ada Limón, 24th Port Laureate of the United States.

The poem that has captivated my attention the last few days is this one, and the reason why I haven't read it in my yoga class yet is because it makes me invariably cry, and I can't speak clearly and sob at the same time.

Reasons To Live

by Ruth Awad

Because if you can survive

the violet night, you can survive

the next, and the fig tree will ache

with sweetness for you in sunlight that arrives

first at your window, quietly pawing

even when you can’t stand it,

and you’ll heavy the whining floorboards

of the house you filled with animals

as hurt and lost as you, and the bearded irises will form

fully in their roots, their golden manes

swaying with the want of spring—

live, live, live, live!

one day you’ll put your hands in the earth

and understand an afterlife isn’t promised,

but the spray of scorpion grass keeps growing,

and the dogs will sing their whole bodies

in praise of you, and the redbuds will lay

down their pink crowns, and the rivers

will set their stones and ribbons

at your door if only

you’ll let the world

soften you with its touching.

Maryland, April 2024

More about the book "You Are Here"

About Ruth Awad

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