Live Virtual Group Session: 6pm EDT May 17th 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session!

Our text for this session was the poem “They Don’t Love You Like I Love You” by Natalie Diaz, posted below.

Our prompt for this session was: “Write about wait or weight.

More details on this session will be posted, so check back!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Monday May 24th at 6pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

They Don't Love You Like I Love You
by Natalie Diaz

My mother said this to me
long before Beyoncé lifted the lyrics
from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs,

and what my mother meant by
Don’t stray was that she knew
all about it—the way it feels to need

someone to love you, someone
not your kind, someone white,
some one some many who live

because so many of mine
have not, and further, live on top of
those of ours who don’t.

I’ll say, say, say,
I’ll say, say, say,
What is the United States if not a clot

of clouds? If not spilled milk? Or blood?
If not the place we once were
in the millions? America is Maps—

Maps are ghosts: white and 
layered with people and places I see through.
My mother has always known best,

knew that I’d been begging for them,
to lay my face against their white
laps, to be held in something more

than the loud light of their projectors
of themselves they flicker—sepia
or blue—all over my body.

All this time,
I thought my mother said, Wait,
as in, Give them a little more time

to know your worth,
when really, she said, Weight,
meaning heft, preparing me

for the yoke of myself,
the beast of my country’s burdens,
which is less worse than

my country’s plow. Yes,
when my mother said,
They don’t love you like I love you,

she meant,
Natalie, that doesn’t mean
you aren’t good.



*The italicized words, 
with the exception of the final stanza, 
come from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs song "Maps."

Copyright © 2019 by Natalie Diaz. 
Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 20, 2019, 
by the Academy of American Poets.

6 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 6pm EDT May 17th 2021

  1. Waiting

    I’m standing by the door, waiting for my girlfriend and her parents to come and pick me up. He doesn’t like me going out and he hates people coming to the house. “Go out when they get here,” he orders, “I don’t want them coming to the door to get you so don’t keep them waiting.”
    Waiting. Waiting in the darkness, waiting for the headlights, waiting for the orange blinking light. Waiting to be taken away.
    I turn for a moment. Only a moment. He’s at another window. He asks if they’re here yet. I say no. He says they are. I can’t see them. “No,” I say, “I don’t think so.” He rushes me and slaps me so hard against the side of the head, knocking me to the floor. I wait but he’s spent. He retreats into the kitchen. I get up. There’s a knock at the door. “Are you ok? she asks. “Sure,” I say, holding my hand over my ear. “I . . . I didn’t mean to keep you waiting.”


  2. About the weight~~~

    A weight lays heavy upon my heart.
    You had been my confidante for almost 18 years.
    It’s difficult to remember a time when you weren’t there.
    Always listening to my troubles and fears without any judgment.
    In your silence, you gave me comfort without a word being uttered.

    You depended upon me for your daily existence,
    but if truth be told,
    your value to me was immeasurable.
    You gave me love and loyalty without ever asking for anything in return.
    A trait that humankind has difficulty in mastering.

    A weight lays heavy upon my heart.
    They say time will heal the heart, but the passage of time has slowed to a crawl.
    Know that you will be forever loved and forever remembered.
    You were one of a kind.


  3. al3793

    Write about wait or weight.

    We’ve been waiting for this weight to be lifted from our shoulders for over a year.
    A shroud, like the knight’s mail, weighing down upon the entire world and
    It forced to the surface of our nation the suffering and pain experienced by our own people
    Who we don’t know
    Whose experience we don’t know
    Whose suffering we don’t know
    Who we can only start to know if we stop and listen.
    We can’t wait.

    afl 05/17/21


  4. Dr Yewande Okuleye

    Thanks for sharing such spendid reflections. Thanks for introducing me to Natalie Diaz. The post man just pressed the bell. She has arrived in to my life Postcolonial love poem, Natalie Diaz.


  5. Elizabeth

    There is a heaviness to waiting
    It sometimes feels like the compression of the body
    A weighted anvil of the mind
    A heaviness of the heart

    And then the wait is over
    And we lighten up
    And shed all those pounds of baggage


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