Guest Column: Never Forget, by Libby Wagner

Libby is an accomplished poet who I asked to write a poem about self-esteem, an issue I face several times a day with my coaching clients. This is her work:

Never Forget


Some days, I leave the city

inching my way through the maze

of Subarus, Mazdas, produce trucks and tankers,

the shimmering exhaust fumes, the stop-and-start,

past the green road signs and ease onto the ramp

off highway 522. Finally, the sky opens up

past Gold Bar and Sultan, the empty

ski rental cabins and deserted latte huts.


In summer, Icicle River runs lazy

in the dappled light. Windows open or top down,

I need to breathe that perfect air, the edgy, craggy

Cascades, harsh and rocky on the sky, bare basalt

and impossible granite. Road winding and car

swaying left, then right, I sink into the curves

sashaying like skiing the ribbon of road.


Sometimes it takes all this: the disentangling, the letting go,

or the leaving behind. The body’s memory of time beyond

time, the way the light filters through Doug fir and White Pine

I notice infinite particles, the molecules of godstuff,

the same stuff I’m made of, too.


Not long after she was born,

her grandmother held her close,

gazed into her eyes and whispered:

you come from a long line

of strong people. Never Forget.


 © Libby Wagner 2015

4 thoughts on “Guest Column: Never Forget, by Libby Wagner

  1. Libby – Your piece beautifully carried me from the day-to-day realities and bustle to the quiet and more important aspects of existence. Just fantastic. I’m glad Alan gave you this “assignment”!

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