A poem by Mark Strand

I have always loved poetry, more writing than reading. Reading made me feel pressure to feel something specific, and it was already hard enough to feel something besides numb. One day, I read Mark Strand’s “Keeping Things Whole” and, for me, something clicked. I don’t know what, though. I still don’t know what I feel, but I know I feel something besides numb when I read this.

Maybe I move through moments, mindfully, in order to keep whole the part of me that isn’t affected by anxiety. Too long in a moment and I risk losing that grounded piece, too.


Keeping Things Whole
In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.
When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body’s been.
We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

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