Vox Populi

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Patricia Jabbeh Wesley: One Day

Love Song for the Newly Divorced


One day, you will awake from your covering

and that heart of yours will be totally mended,

and there will be no more burning within.

The owl, calling in the setting of the sun

and the deer path, all erased.

And there will be no more need for love

or lovers or fears of losing lovers

and there will be no more burning timbers

with which to light a new fire,

and there will be no more husbands or people

related to husbands, and there will be no more

tears or reason to shed your tears.

You will be as mended as the bridge

the working crew has just reopened.

The thick air will be vanquished with the tide

and the river that was corrupted by lies

will be cleansed and totally free.

And the rooster will call in the setting sun

and the sun will beckon homeward,

hiding behind your one tree that was not felled.

Copyright 2020 Patricia Jabbeh Wesley. From Praise Song for my Children: New and Selected Poems (Autumn House Press, 2020).

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley is the author of six critically acclaimed books of poetry, including,  Praise Song for My Children: New and Selected PoemsWhen the Wanderers Come HomeWhere the Road Turns, and her 2003 Crab Orchard Award collection, Becoming Ebony. Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines, including, Prairie Schooner, Transition, New York Times MagazineHarvard ReviewHarvard Divinity Review, and her work has been translated into several languages. She immigrated with her family after surviving two years of the fourteen-year series of Liberian civil wars. She is the winner of the 2023 Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize for her book, Praise Song for My Children: New and Selected Poems. Patricia Jabbeh Wesley’s newest book, “Breaking the Silence: Anthology of Liberian Poetry,”forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press in 2023,” is the first comprehensive body of literature from Liberia since that nation’s independence in 1847. She teaches English and Creative Writing at Penn State Altoona.

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley

11 comments on “Patricia Jabbeh Wesley: One Day

  1. Wangui Wa Goro
    January 21, 2023

    What a wonderful poem Patricia! Congratulations and more congratulations.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sean Sexton
    January 21, 2023

    Beautiful poem, another fine writer all new and given to me by this site for which I’m grateful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vox Populi
      January 21, 2023

      Thanks, Sean. I’ve published a number of books by Patrcia. She is a Liberian-American original!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Barbara Huntington
    January 21, 2023

    did my comment disappear? Does what if ever disappear? Does knowing you are strong and can do it by yourself ever really replace what went missing?


  4. Barbara Huntington
    January 21, 2023

    Love this. But I have yet to see totally mended and not sure, no matter how strong you become, if that little what if ever goes away


    • Vox Populi
      January 21, 2023

      Thanks, Barbara. Eva just told me she sees this poem as being about death, not divorce. Interesting.


      Liked by 1 person

  5. Eva Simms
    January 21, 2023

    A powerful poem, Patricia, — lyrical, driving, liberating

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on January 21, 2023 by in Environmentalism, Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , , , .

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