Mahalo In The Midst Of Sadness

Categories: National Poetry Month,Poetry

Rainy weather



All day long

my quiet thoughts.

To venture out

into drumming storm

streets deep,

no use

for umbrellas.

Oahu, I have placed myself

on the lip

of loneliness again.


I will go out, now,

as the teacher said,

to be baptized by the rain.


I like the way mahalo sounds, which means thank you in Hawaiian. My cousin Brett and his wife Kathryn lived on Oahu for several years and after my sister Karen died, I went to visit them. In my grief, everything was acute, whether witnessing a sunrise, reading a sad story, eating a delicious meal. One day, it rained so hard an umbrella was a completely ridiculous notion, and so I just walked in the downpour, wading through puddles, holding my face up to the skies, letting myself be soaked through. I have always loved the symbolism of baptism, too, the renewal, cleansing, and everything is made new. No matter our path, we wish for this always: to be made new. And, to say mahalo in the midst of sadness, seems a great thing indeed.


– From Somehow: New and Selected Poems, by Libby Wagner, Brassy Press © 2012




Libby Wagner
Author: Libby Wagner

Libby makes her home in a lovely West Seattle neighborhood in a house with turquoise walls and an amazing view of the Puget sound and Olympic mountains. A former Air Force “brat”, she continues to bounce from one corner of the world to the other, working with Fortune 500 clients, hopeful artists and authors, and aspiring entrepreneurs. She has a Master’s in Fine Arts and Poetry from Eastern Washington University where she also began working in the Writers in the Prison program.