There are glimmers of encouraging COVID-19 news these days: mortality rates falling, hospital admissions going down and releases going up, a drug showing promise at combatting the virus. In this spirit, today’s Thoughtful Thursday offers poems of encouragement and hope. First, a favorite from Lucille Clifton (1936-2010), “Blessing the Boats”, which holds the promise of a better day. “Instructions on Not Giving Up” by Ada Limón (b. 1976) heralds the greening of the trees in Spring as a sign of hopeful renewal. And finally, “Youth” by Langston Hughes (1902-1967) encourages us to march away from the dark past towards a brighter future.
Let these poems give you a needed lift. Share them with your children and enjoy.
Blessing the Boats
(at St. Mary’s)
may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that
Instructions On Not Giving Up
More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.
We have tomorrow
Bright before us
Like a flame
A night-gone thing
A sun-down name.
And dawn today
Broad arch above
The road we came.