Friday, May 17, 2024

Poetry Friday: If You Know, You Know

It's Saturday morning here in Uganda, but it's still Friday some places, so here's my Poetry Friday contribution.

If You Know, You Know


There are so many things I don’t know
and I long for more explanation of the hashtag.
#iykyk, they type, smugly,
but I don’t get their references.
The things I know are pretty much useless
to anyone but me,
such as
the exact quality of the petrichor
on Church Street
in Kampala
on a Saturday morning
in May.


©Ruth Bowen Hersey



Mary Lee said...

I'm with you. #iykyk is a wink that privileges and excludes. So much better to feel a connection to you, half a world away, breathing in the petrichor on Church Street, while I am listening to robins and cardinals singing in the dark near East Lincoln Avenue.

Linda Mitchell said...

jargon and petrichor in the same post! I love how this poem meanders a short distance between the two ending up on the beautiful. Wonderful!

laurasalas said...

Oh, Ruth. This is fabulous! I am ALWAYS out of the loop on IYKYK, and it always feels like a very excluding thing to say. More importantly, your poem, narrowing down to an example of one kind of thing you do know, is beautifully done. A reminder of the kinds of things it actually matters to know and pay attention to. This one is striking in its brevity--love it!

Linda B said...

And IDK your world and experience but your poem lets me imagine, Ruth! Happy weekend!

Marcie Flinchum Atkins said...

YES! This really resonated with me. I almost never know what everyone else knows. But I could tell you about the monsoons in Penang that flood the fields and are perfect for barefoot soccer!

TraceyKJ said...

Tee hee, I am so out of the loop I didn’t even know what IYKYK meant! What beautiful sights and vibrant colors, Ruth! I am imaging the smell of the soil and weather when I look at your pictures. The scent is vivid in my mind, but it could be completely wrong from half a world away on a Saturday morning in May. : )

Karen Edmisten said...

I *love* the word petrichor. :)

This is so beautiful:

the exact quality of the petrichor
on Church Street
in Kampala
on a Saturday morning

You reminded me of this: I once stumbled on the word "pluviophile" and sent my mom an email that I had finally found the perfect word for her, rain-lover that she was. After she passed away a couple of months ago, I found among her things a printed copy of that email that she had saved. Useless information to anyone but me, but so important. :) xo

Tabatha said...

Love your post AND the comments! It's interesting because IYKYK is supposed to indicate shared knowledge, and if there was ever a group of people who have shared/inside-group knowledge it is us Poetry Friday-ers, but it doesn't appeal to us at all. I am going to ponder that. (I think some poetry lovers DO like excluding others, but not us because we want children to love it.)

Denise Krebs said...

Ruth, this is so beautiful, and it has sparked me to consider all the things that are "pretty much useless to anyone but me" in my own life. But that description of the smell for you on your Saturday moment is giving me all kinds of feelings and memories. Absolutely beautiful poem.