Dec 31, 2022 • 3M

2022, rapt

Open in playerListen on);

Appears in this episode

Amy Isikoff Newell
Episode details
2022, rapt

Most nights the sunset held me, 
moving from southwest to northwest 
and back again:

through my windows, 
from the roof, 
on a hill near the old skating rink. 

In Oakland, in New York, in Portland, Brookline, Cambridge, Boston, Epsom, Nahant.  

Not one but many owls -- 
a year when owls made themselves 
known to me, held my attention. 

The fireside death of a familiar. 

Learning to love two new animals, 
strange fierce creatures stalking my home at night, 
rumbling, twitching their tails. 

My children, both alive and still speaking to me, 
and one another, at year’s end. 
Hard stop, mic drop, 
blessing beyond blessing. 

But also purple macrame. 
Love in the strangest places. 
Lilac-colored velvet suits. 
Ever more sequins. 

Ghost pipes. Black trumpets. 

The bladder campion, the monkshood, the frogs, the fireflies, and the heron. 

Moonrise: above the pond, behind the Pru, over the ocean, in the woods. 
The violin. The comedy club. The brisket burnt ends. 
The egg sandwich, the mushroom tea. 
Raspberry brambles. Wild strawberries. 
Outside in the rain. 
The moon above the tent. 
The fox in the glade.

The mixed up kung fu movie that made all the mothers cry. 

French fries. You can see how I feel about french fries, they are always on the list. 

And another year of sumos, blueberries, peaches, apples. 
A round loaf. A jelly donut. Louis Armstrong singing.
The dancing bear, the twinkling lights, the spinning pole.

I said so many words and I wondered 
what I would find beyond the words, 
but that was a path through the forest that I was not ready to take. 

Held rapt 
by the twin threads
 of love and attention, 
breath by breath 
I danced as I could while the world turned 
and when I couldn’t dance I cried,
and when I couldn’t cry I prayed, 

prayed for the courage to stay a while longer, 
unwrap whatever gifts the new year brings,
may they be more blessings than curses, 

may I taste again all that sweet, 
know the caramel flavor of my own burnt ends, 
attend to the delicate green unfurling 
of whatever comes next.
-- Amy Isikoff Newell, December 31, 2022