Poetry Break

How To Be Alone by Pádraig Ó Tuama

This was one of those happy accidents that lead me to some good poetry. I was searching for a poem to honor Gloria Anzaldua – maybe a recording of her reading or someone reading one of her poems – but instead encountered Pádraig Ó Tuama’s “How To Belong Be Alone.”

You would think after the last few years, being alone is the last thing on my mind. However, aloneness has been a constant companion in my anxiety-ridden world. And listening to Tuama’s words just hit the right chords in me:

Remember when you were younger
and you practiced kissing on your arm?
You were on to something then.
Sometimes harm knows its own healing
Comfort knows its own intelligence.
Kindness too.
It needs no reason.

You can read the entirety of Pádraig Ó Tuama’s poem and others like it on OnBeing.