“Rondo for the Night” by Mai-Lan Pham

Mai-Lan Pham


Let go.
Change will come,
and then will come again.

Let go.
Maybe weep a little
for what has been lost,
but then
there is the lightness
of having nothing at all.

Let go.
Your hands were full once
and, holding on to everything,
what else did you do?

Let go.
Feel the cool air on your palms.
Your feet will move,
one, and then the other,
as they have always done.

Let go.
You will not fall
with nothing to stay you.
The body knows what to do.
The biology and chemistry
and physics of you
have existed
long before you presumed
to name them.

Let go.
You are still lungs,
heart, and brain,
still tears
and blood, and song.
You are all that has gone
wrong, and all
that has not.

Let go.
Who decides
what is enough?
Who can tell
what would have led
anywhere else but here?

Let go.
Remember the child you were,
before the naming and sorting,
before love, before hate,
before you learned to count time,
and in so doing, began to fear
its eventual loss.

Let go.
At nightfall
you walked in dreams
and saw through darkness.
The body knows how to find its way.

Let the body find its way.

from Poets Respond
December 31, 2017

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Mai-Lan Pham: “And the year comes to an end. Not just any year, but the year 2017. As the ‘Year in Review’ retrospectives come in, each one more grim than the last, I wanted to step back from our collective paroxysm of fear. We have done it before. We have always carried on.”

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