Small Book of Heart Songs on the Shelf
by Norbert Krapf
There was a small handsome hardcover book
on the shelf near the bed in which I slept
that I could not resist reading at night,
a collection of poems by Native high school students.
I don’t remember the title, but it could have
easily been Heart Songs, so pure, natural,
and sincere were the beautiful musings of these
young thinkers expressing and sharing their
vision of the world they were exploring,
navigating, coming to terms with. Nothing
concocted, not a word puffed up, no images
strained to impress. The rhythms were like
the beat of a heart and the pulse of blood
that flowed from the center of each young life
I was touching and becoming one with.
I can still feel the texture of the cover
of that little book and how happy my hands
were to hold it, how much I loved opening
those pages and being inspired each night
as I savored a few poems on the ground level
near the wall beyond which the desert pulsed.
Norbert Krapf's latest collections are The Return of Sunshine (2018) and Indiana Hill Country Poems (2019). His adaptation of his Catholic Boy Blues collection (2015) into a play was performed in June in the Indy Eleven Theatre of Indy Fringe, and he is currently working on a new play, Andrew and the Bells of Lohr.