Po-Po-Poetry Month – Abria Smith

April is the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Month, a celebration of poets and poetry, started by the Academy of American Poets.  I’ve selected poetry by Abria Smith for my second poetry post this year.  Reading the poems of Abria Smith, whom I’ve known for some time, I am struck by her sensitivity and keen observations in her book Somebody Soup.  I am amazed by how many times in reading her poems I think, she’s felt what I’ve felt, she’s observed what I’ve observed. Despite being born in different decades and raised in different parts of the USA, we are connected.  Such is the power of art, in particular literature – there is unity and recognition when we are able to listen to and come to know each other.

Abria Smith

Abria’s poems invite you in.  She is warm, with a ready if shy smile, and goofy.  She is a poet, actor, singer, and arts administrator.  She has gorgeous eyes.  She is a generous person. Her generosity is encoded in this book which includes poems from her family and friends (in the final section).    The sections of the book are: (1) Somebody Lost, (2) and Found, (3) Somebody Sensual, (4) and Proud, (5) Somebody Faithful, (6) Somebody Spoken, and (7) Somebody Else’s Soup.

Selecting which poems to share is difficult – I can’t choose all that I like.  Some I would share should be discovered by readers as they turn the pages of Somebody Soup. So, I’m just sharing two and hope that you are inspired to purchase the book.

Behind the Glass by Abria Smith (Somebody Soup poems by Abria M. Smith, copyright 2019))

The NICU always seemed inviting when

I’d see my tiny child behind the glass,

In the glow of bilirubin light,

Amidst a vast entanglement of tubes

That breathed artificial life into my hopes.

This life that started on its course too soon

And slow blossomed from a fate unclear,

Does not remember those cribs with bars of steel.

Nor the sting of intravenous meds

Given to a child too weak to breathe.

I’d feed her through a nasogastric tube.

My breast milk, pumped for her, was liquid strength.

I watched her sleep, so hopeful she’d grown stronger.

Knowing not if I would have it in me

To help her grow and someday let her go.

Now once again I watch her through the glass

With ponytails and tales of what she’ll learn.

Reluctantly, I leave the toddler class, knowing…

From here she’ll grow, explore the world,

leave home and merely be

Behind the glass, a picture framed for me.

(#NICU – neonatal intensive care unit)

Given a Chance

Given a chance, a bud of hope will bloom.

As do all living things when given room.

Give a chance, a friendship can grow

When you open your heart to someone you don’t know.

Give a chance, inner beauty shines through

Those you once thought were so unlike you.

And given a chance, we can all be whole

If we judge with our minds less

And more with our souls.

Thank you for your poetry, Abria. (By the way, Abria is a fellow with the Creative Entrepreneur Fellowship of the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston.)


Order Somebody Soup

To learn more about Abria


I’ve done lots of poetry sharing on my blog over the years, here’s a couple of posts you might like:

Can I Poet With You? – Clarence Major

Our Love in Write on the Dot Vol. IV

About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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