Friday, September 20, 2019

How You Remain

I will not surrender my heart,” the tenderly ferocious poet ire’ne lara silva has said. “I will not surrender my art. My poems and my stories are what I have to give in this world.” 

Here, in her invocation for the endangered axolotl — Ambystoma mexicanum, also known as the Mexican walking fish (an amphibian resembling a smiling, translucent salamander) — she praises the intrinsic healing power of beings, a power greater than all governments or public pronouncements. It’s the gentle force of organic, elemental restoration; the song that keeps people singing even when the news grabs them by the throat. [Poem selected by Naomi Shihab Nye, for the NY Times - 12 September 2019]

                                                               little warrior
                                          almost imperceptibly
                                          from so much healing
                                                           how many regrown limbs
                                                           how many repaired organs
                                          even precious
                                                   brain tissue
                                                           created anew

                                          teach me this
                                                          little warrior
                                          how you remain
                                                  tender and
                                                        soft and eternal
                                                        in the face of struggle
                                          how it is the healing
                                                  has already begun
                                                           even before the wound

                                          ire'ne lara silva       

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