The Moment I fell in Love with Poetry

I couldn’t tell
the exact moment.

Maybe it was in 7th grade
when I memorized poems
for home work
so the teacher would not
be mad at me,
or maybe when I tried to
impress her for
3 extra grades.

Maybe it was the time
when two words I wrote
rhymed, and I became
a certified poet in my childish mind.

Maybe it was in 12th grade
when my crush wouldn’t look my way,
so I’d write about it everyday.
I didn’t know I’d really
laugh about it someday.

Cliche, I know.

Maybe it was the first time
I performed in front of strangers
about an animal and the man,
my throat ran dry
every time I had to greet someone.

Maybe it was when
we put up poetry evenings
in our college lawn
shaking but sure,
I decided to perform, a second time.

Maybe it was under the
moon lit February,
the day Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye
filled the air with echoes
of the arrival of love.

Maybe it was
taking a poetry class,
those meek yet subtle
lines that tied all of us together,
spilling truths we’d never tell
anyone alive.

Maybe it was that day
when I received a call for
a paid performance,
but it rained and rained on the
performance day,
not just once but twice.
And yet the soaking rain
made me grateful than sad.

Maybe it was all of those times
I’d divide a portion of my salary
to buy more poetry books,
uncovering secrets of human life
in lines.

Maybe it was in those days
when I couldn’t speak,
unable to devise an utterable word,
but still could write,
miles and miles.

I couldn’t tell
the exact moment.

I couldn’t.


This World Poetry Day, I tried reflecting back on when and where I fell in love with poetry. I couldn’t. I couldn’t. Like the veins of our bodies that run through each of our cells, I couldn’t find a place or a time when poetry was not there, sometimes in foreground, sometimes in background. 

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