Things You’ve Never Seen
When I tell it, the first time I saw hail, I say it was in a desert and knocked a man unconscious then drove a woman into my arms because she thought the end was near but I assured her this wasn’t the case. When he tells it, he smiles, says the first winter after their exodus was the coldest. Rare snow came down, and his mother, who knew what the fluff was but until then had never seen it, woke him and said, Look outside, what do you see? She called his name twice. It was dark. Snow fell a paragraph to sum up decades of heat. He had no answer. She said, this is flour from heaven. When he tells it, he’s an old man returning to his mother.
Copyright © 2018 by Fady Joudah. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 3, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“In the midst of some drama or another that reared its head in the American poetry world and seemed consuming, I was listening to my father speak. When is the poem more than the sum of our progressive imperial selves, I wondered?”
Fady Joudah, born in Texas in 1971, is the author of Textu (Copper Canyon Press).
Date Published: 2018-05-03
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/things-youve-never-seen