(187) The Weight of a Word

imageOn Sunday I read a poem in The New York Times Magazine called “The Word That is a Prayer” by Ellery Akers.  (Read it here.)  It prompted me to write one of my own — a poem about the power of a word.  I am getting my poem in type while the “aliveness” is still in it.  I know it is far from perfect. This is an experiment in letting “first thought, best thought” rule my day. Saying “yes” to whatever surfaces!

The Weight of a Word

One thing you know when you say it

all over the earth people are saying it with you;

a child rejoices in permission for a cookie;

a woman makes a man happy by agreeing to dinner.

What if you are traveling with your family, a well-planned trip with just them in mind

and you are at a red light in a small town, and you see that shop, the one you dreamed of entering with treasures to behold;

it may be used books, or quilting material, or antiques, whatever…

there it is, and you want to enter, but will they agree? You have until the light turns green

to get to “yes.”

Yes. A word so short

it seems to weigh nothing

but it is heavy with decision

and choice

and meaning.

“Yes” can lift us up, as well as turn us around

it is the moment the sun

peeks out behind the clouds

after a sullen rain

and the world lights up again, subtle and secure

our hearts crying a joyful, clear, and ready yes.


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