Poem of the Week, by Annie Lighthart

Statue and man, Havana, Cuba

Once, out to dinner with a friend, I noticed a woman sitting at the far opposite end of the restaurant. It was a big, softly-lit place and she was indistinct, but every time I looked at her she made me happy – how she leaned forward to talk, how she tipped her head back when she laughed, the way she tilted her head and kept nodding when her friend was talking. She seemed so focused and appreciative and full of life. I wanted to be her friend.

When we were finished and got up to leave, weirdly, so did the woman and her friend. Then I saw that the back wall of the restaurant was a mirror. The woman I liked so much was…me.

Sometimes one of my students writes something fast, in response to a prompt, that makes them sit back in surprise, like Wait, that just came out of ME? I didn’t even know that was IN me.

We are so much more than we think we are.

The Verge
, by Annie Lighthart

Reason is a fine thing, but remember there are other ways
to live: by instinct or passion, or even,
maybe, by revelation. Try it. Come around again to the verge –
that place of about-to-open, near where we comprehend
and laugh and see. Why shouldn’t something marvelous
happen to you? Take even an occasion like this:
A man reading at night looked up at the window to find
a moose looking in, interested and unafraid
with quiet dark eyes. He reports he has never been the same;
he finds the ungainly and miraculous everywhere.
He said it started the next night in the empty window
as he watched his reflection looking right back through.
He said he saw his own beauty, how even in his same old face
the quiet eyes were curious and ready to be true.

For more information about Annie Lighthart, please check out her website.
Words by Winter: my podcast