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The Gift by N. Scott Momaday

As it is with friends who haven’t spoken for awhile, we shuffle our feet before we hug. Sometimes we hug for hours.

How are you? And this time I really mean it. I have found myself before at fault for using it by way of hello, but these days I am really asking because I want to know: Are you happy? Loved?

I have learned how to be funny with people who have always seen me sad, and to be sad, and comfortably I might add, with those who always thought that I don’t hurt for very long. If I am lucky, and on some days I am, these people are the same.

What changed, is the crux of a conversation I’ve had a few hours ago. I said, I think it was time. A bit of distance, maybe.

I have been exploring language differently. It’s enough to spur me forward. Does that make sense?

The Gift
N. Scott Momaday

For Bobby Jack Nelson

Older, more generous,
We give each other hope.
The gift is ominous:
Enough praise, enough rope.

This is from The Norton Anthology of Poetry (Shorter Fourth Edition), edited by Margaret Ferguson, Mary Jo Salter, and Jon Stallworthy, published by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1997.

Comments (10)

  • Kathy

    Happy to find your posts in my inbox again.

  • pleased to hear from you again

  • You have such a lovely spirit, T. I’m grateful to have come to know you, even if from a vast distance. Happy ModPo.

  • Every time I read what you write and the poem that follows after – It feels like when the rushing waves touchdown and gently caress your feet and then recede. Every time is a pleasure.

  • Anna

    Thanks for bringing poetry back to my life.

  • A new way of exploring language is plenty, a worthy expedition. We should keep turning things upside down.

  • Your description before the poems brighten my world. Oh how you can so effortlessly draw lines of imaginayion and reality, much murkier and honest. Thankyou for being a hope ! 🙂

  • Cool Poetry!

  • Summer

    Would love to hear some more from you

  • Darren

    I think of language as a waterfalls, droplets of crystal
    converging, tinkling, rippling together,
    splashing carefree into the pool of my heart,
    from which I drink, deeply, and rise – lifted.
    Thank you for putting your heart to such a wonderful work!


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