Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!
For this session we read a poem “Heart On Fire” by Ada Limón, posted below.
Our prompt was: “Write about getting in trouble.”
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Heart On Fire” by Ada Limón As a foster child, my grandfather learned not to get in trouble. Mexican and motherless—dead as she was from tuberculosis—he practiced words in a new language and kept his slender head down. When the other boys begged him to slip into the music shop’s upper window to steal harmonicas for each of them, music being important, thievery being secondary, he refused. When the cops came to spot the boys who robbed the music store, they could easily find the ones spitting broken notes into the air, joyously mouthing the stainless steel, mimicking men on street corners busking for coins. But not my grandfather, he knew not to risk it all for a stolen moment of exaltation. It’s easy to imagine this is who I come from, a line of serious men who follow the rules, but might I add that later he was a dancer, a singer, an actor whose best roles ended up on the cutting room floor. A cutup, a ham who liked a good story. Who would have told you life was a series of warnings, but also magic. Once, he was sent for a box of matches and he put that box of strike-anywheres in the pocket of his madras shirt and ran home, he ran so fast to be on time, to be good, and when he did so, the whole box ignited, so he was a boy running down the canyon road with what looked like a heart on fire. He’d laugh when he told you this, a heart on fire, he’d say, so you’d remember. Limón, Ada. The Hurting Kind. (2022) “Heart On Fire” p.62. Minneapolis: Milkweed Edition.