No National Poetry Month celebration is complete without me forcing Andrea Gibson on to those around me. Their poetry speaks to the younger parts of me, and reminds me why I embarked in this medium in the first place – as a way to speak to my younger self, and in hopes to reach out to the young people in my life.
Several of us are good at holding grudges, determined to be right. This is not to say we should forgive and invite those who wronged us – physically or emotionally – back into our lives, but not push out those who’ve only made a mistake. To not hold something over someone’s head for the rest of our relationships. Because grudges are an emotional waste of time and energy.
I’ve never in my whole life
been levelheaded, but the older I get,
I’m more level-hearted—
These are the words I aspire to be as I get older. After an age-old grudge came to an end nearly three years ago as I spoke to my father on his death bed, I realized how much time and energy could have been used doing something good in this world. Instead, I squandered resenting the man who I never gave myself the chance to know.
“The Year of No Grudges, or Instead of Writing a Furious Text, I Try a Poem” is featured in their 2021 collection, You Better Be Lightning.