Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Day 29 (2020)

after Nazim Hikmet

it’s April 13th 2020, my mother’s 60th birthday
and i’m sitting on the couch from my old apartment 
in my new apartment, and Pidgeon’s wind chimes are loud 
outside my window    

i never knew i liked wind chimes

i think Mom used to have some outside her office
she had tabletop fountains and hunks of amethyst 
crystals the size of my face

i used to hate how she made us meditate 
learn reiki on the weekends
now i’m calling her every other day 
for the new old remedy

i hate how much i cared about being cool 
when i was younger, carrying mom’s tupperware
in brown paper bags wishing for a lunchable
something disposable with a subtler scent  

now i am ecstatic to see tupperware 
stacked in my fridge, the luxury 
of leftovers instead of chopping 
another onion 

i used to lie in bed on Sunday evenings wishing 
for a whole week of weekends
now i forget what day it is 
and still feel i’m running out of time 

i never knew i hated washing my hands this much
i sing “Love On Top” while scrubbing 
to make sure i hit twenty seconds

my sister hears me singing and asks 
if i am happy. no, i say
i’m just counting

Credit


Copyright © 2021 by Jamila Woods. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 1, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


“This poem was inspired by Nazim Hikmet’s poem, ‘Things I Didn’t Know I Loved.’ I love the way Hikmet allows the images in his poems to become portals to his memories. I wrote this poem a month into quarantine, feeling the uncertainty of how long all of this was going to last.”
Jamila Woods

Author


Jamila Woods

 Jamila Woods is a poet and singer from Chicago, Illinois. 

Date Published: 2021-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/day-29-2020