My Poem, “One Day,” is the American Life in Poetry Selection for the Week: Thanks to US Poet Laureate (2004-2006),Ted Kooser for Selecting Me in A Country of So Many Great Poets

When you come from the small West African country of Liberia, you are not expected to be picked by the US Poet Laureate in his search for what he knows is a great poet to share with his millions of fans and readers. So, you can understand why someone as lowly as I am should be so grateful that US Poet Laureate chose my poem several months ago to be featured today on American Life in Poetry and to be permanently included on the Poetry Foundation website. Thanks, Mr. Kooser for selecting and featuring me this week. It makes my life better to know that there are poets who are so well learned that they understand the simplicity of the language some of us from far away backgrounds speak, and that even our voices must be heard. I am humbled by this kind honor.

If you are wondering where to go to read this poem, here is the link:

Click to access COL325.pdf

American Life in Poetry: Column 325


Many of us have attempted to console friends who have recently been divorced, and though it can be a pretty hard sell, we have assured them that things will indeed be better with the passage of time. Here’s a fine poem of consolation by Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, who teaches at Penn State.

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.

“One Day” was originally published in my fourth book of poems, Where the Road Turns (Autumn House Press: 2010)


8 Replies to “My Poem, “One Day,” is the American Life in Poetry Selection for the Week: Thanks to US Poet Laureate (2004-2006),Ted Kooser for Selecting Me in A Country of So Many Great Poets”

  1. Dear Pat

    Congratulations to u . U are a great poet . I love this poem very much and will share it with my friends .

    Thank you so much

    Jenny Chee

    1. Jenny, my sister. You are one reliable friend everywhere. Love you lots. Thanks for the encouragement. See you on facebook. How are you? Love much!


    1. Hi Kathy,

      Long time. Thanks a lot. Good hearing from you even as I sit in Accra, Ghana, on another research mission. Just visited Buduburam yesterday, and am still weepy over the plight of Liberian refugees out there. Spent the whole day there, taping and talking to, and encouraging our people to return home. Met with the manager. Good day for pain and reflection.

      Working on a post before I move on. There are hopeful signs however, hopeful signs.


  2. Hi Patricia,
    I love this poem because of its depth and several layers of meaning. This would make for a wonderful group discussion around palm wine, tea and crackers, fufu and soup, or a quiet evening alone. You have inspired me to find my way back to poetry writing again. Thank you.

    Levi Williams

  3. Wow, thanks everyone. You are the reason we write. Appreciate that you took the time to visit and share your encouragement. Thanks, Levi. What a blessing to hear this name again.

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