2/30 Poems in November: Fault Lines

fault-linesWhen your mind turns
to the litany
of failures and detours
of fault lines
you fall through
when you fault yourself
for the mess
of being fully human

When you tie your laces
and go out
into the world
with its sidewalks
and people and strollers
and bus stops,
its dogs on leashes
and women crossing themselves
against the light

When the light changes
from harsh to forgiveness
and the body that blinks
through space
and time
all of the decisions
you made
good and bad
and maybe

When the poem steeps
all day waiting
for you to come back
and you do
because you said
you would
drop everything
and run home
to make sure
she knows
your yes is as golden
as the late-day light
and it sounds like
I’m sorry.



30 Poems in November! is a literary fundraiser for Center for New Americans. Center for New Americans welcomes and serves immigrants in Western Massachusetts with free English classes and a range of support services. For more information, please visit cnam.org This year, we aim to raise $30,000. Writers do their part by writing one poem each day in November. Friends and family do their part by donating to support this effort. Powerful new poems and financial contributions translate to community support for immigrants.

Some of the most meaningful work I’ve ever done was in my early 20s at the Riverside Church in NYC, leading English-language conversations with new Americans from countries all over the world. It was then that I was privileged to witness the courage, resilience, patience, and grit that immigrants and refugees must have in order to navigate life in a new language and culture.

Since poetry is one of the way I practice showing up in the world, for the month of November, I vow to write one poem a day as a small gesture of respect for and in solidarity with those who land in the Pioneer Valley as new Americans. Your donation will spur me on and, more importantly, support the newest members of our community.

Make your donation here

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