Winter is a time to find small moments of joy and warmth because the night comes too early and stays too late. One of those moments of joy was created when my friend Kayla compiled poems she enjoyed in 2021 into a short book titled 2021 Poems that gave me life this year. She hand wrote out the poems, designed a cover, organized everything, and printed the book out. She then mailed copies to her friends and loved ones. There are 13 poems total in this zine and that in itself, along with the fact that Kayla created this, would have been enough to make me excited about it. But what puts this gift over the top is that one of those poems in her compilation was written by me. Turns out she liked one of the poems I shared with her so much that she included it in this anthology. She didn’t tell me she had done so and thus it was a complete surprise when I opened the book and saw my poem there. I feel so honored. Her act is one of the nicest things that happened to me in 2021 (as she mailed out the book right around Christmas).
Does this count as getting a poem published (one of my #30 before 40 goals)? I think it’s at least partially completed. I mean, multiple people now have read one of my poems, in physical print. What’s better than that? Kayla’s thoughtfulness continues to astound and delight me. I can only hope to pass along the joy I feel.