Poems in Hiding

photo by Josh Scholten

I’ll tell you a secret: poems hide.
In the bottoms of our shoes, they are sleeping.
They are the shadows drifting across our ceilings the moment before we wake up.
What we have to do is live in a way that lets us find them.”
Naomi Shihab Nye

Poems stayed hidden from me for decades.  I was oblivious a hundred times a day to their secrets: dripping right over me in the shower,  rising over hills bright pink, breathing deeply as I auscultated a chest, settling heavily on my eyelids at night.

The day I awoke to them was the day thousands of innocents died in sudden cataclysm of airplanes and buildings and fire, people not knowing when they got up that day it would be their last.  The poems began to come out of hiding, show themselves and I began to see, listen, touch, smell, taste as if each day would be my last.

I have learned to live in a way that lets me see the hidden poems and now they overwhelm me.  They are everywhere.

And I don’t know if I have enough time left to write them all down.