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  • Sarah Rose

A Poem for 2022

[Listen to an audio version of this blog here.]



Every year, I write a poem in honor of that year. I've only been doing this since 2016, but it's an interesting way to reflect on the past year, and to see my own evolution as a writer and as a person. When I was younger, my writing was tinged with anger and resentment. Now, especially over the past year, my writing has taken on a more subdued and understanding tone, and not necessarily on purpose. Once growth begins to happen, it's difficult to stop, and with growth comes the understanding that most people are not evil, that holding onto grudges and resentment only deteriorates the person holding it, and that anger is the least powerful of all emotions. While anger can be motivating, it is not a motivation that lasts. There is much more nuance in empathy than there is in anger, and it's much more fun to explore. I've also learned that anger is almost always a front for some other, deeper, more vulnerable emotion or pain.


This year will end in a matter of days, and we'll all forget to write '23 in the slot allocated for "year" in the forms at the dentists office. We'll pause for a moment to say farewell or good riddance to the year that has past. Some of us will celebrate, and some of us won't give a damn. January 1st is just another day, after all. But I hope you take a moment to pause and reflect on 2022, whatever it held, and wherever it brought you.


2022




this year was a decadent pastry crust

beneath a heaping pile of hemlock leaves

love is a wild atrocity

uncertainty a side effect of breathing


2022 was smooth like butter, but rancid

sweet as honey, sharp as a cactus

strong as a Baptist choir

on a Sunday morning in mid-December

remember today if you can

remember the plans you made and unraveled

the people you loved and

the miles you traveled

life is too fast for snapshot memories

time is a ruthless,

frightening thing


2022 was the year I sharpened

my addiction to pain

burned my champagne problems

taught my demons to sing

there’s no end to our bottom

no winter in spring

and the people in charge

don’t know a damn thing


2022 was a pop rocket

a blank slate

the year we woke up

from our quarantined graves

crypto imploded

a midterm election / raging recession

court cases and heat waves

too many flights / war in Ukraine

Roe v. Wade / Depp v. Heard

Alex jones / Theranos


2022 demanded honesty

clarity lives in small print

and footnotes

this year tasted

like breadcrumbs and hope

I let my walls down slowly

one brick at a time

but walls don’t fall

without a fight


2022 was a waning moon

a lavender sun

the year I would run to the

edge of the earth and sigh

I always fall short

no matter how hard I try

and time is an angry, raging thing

the house next door

has been vacant for weeks

hundreds of people

have applied for a loan

home should not be

unobtainable

but the banks are fat

with interest rates

and America First

still sounds like hate


2022 was a reckoning

clipped wings can always grow again

dollars are always made of cents

and no matter what

we will wither and die

time never stops

no matter how hard I try

to hit the pause key

this year is crumpling slowly

a decadent pastry crust

on the tip of my tongue


love is a wild atrocity

uncertainty a side effect

of breathing


P.S. Check out this list of 66 New Year's resolutions that you may or may not keep, or find a new gym membership here.


xoxo


Sarah Rose


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