TRY THIS TOMORROW: INSTRUCTIONS ON NOT GIVING UP by ADA LIMON
Last week, on an episode of The Good Doctor, the main storyline was quite compelling. It was about a woman with Long Covid who was suffering from debilitating brain fog. She yearned for the days before she caught Covid; when she was able to do her job as a biologist, remember daily tasks and string words together that made sense.
To counteract her symptoms of brain fog, she would write out poems in her notebook and try to memorize them. The poem Instructions on Not Giving Up by Ada Limon was the poem she reads at the end of the episode. My first thought was “How have I not heard this poem?”. It’s such a beautiful evocation of spring.
This would be a great poem to enjoy during Poetry Month.
Ada Limon reads the poem here: https://poets.org/poem/instructions-not-giving
Instructions on Not Giving Up by Ada Limon
More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out
of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s
almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving
their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate
sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees
that really gets to me. When all the shock of white
and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave
the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath,
the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin
growing over whatever winter did to us, a return
to the strange idea of continuous living despite
the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then,
I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf
unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.