The Exchange: The Bright Side

The Weekly's poetry corner offers our thoughts in exchange for yours

  1. The Exchange: To Our Flags
  2. The Exchange: The Negro Speaks of Dryland
  3. The Exchange: blue is darker than Black
  4. The Exchange: Sans Fleur
  5. The Exchange: Blindspot
  6. The Exchange: Her.
  7. The Exchange: Lint
  8. The Exchange: Reality Check
  9. The Exchange: Caution
  10. The Exchange: Rubik’s Cube
  11. The Exchange: The Path
  12. The Exchange: sTREEtS
  13. The Exchange: Butter
  14. The Exchange: The Bright Side
  15. The Exchange: Concrete to Shoreline
  16. This Empty Cage
  17. Paper Machete
  18. The Exchange: Marketplace

This section publishes creative writing submissions from the public that do not necessarily reflect the views of the South Side Weekly or its editors.

The Exchange is the Weekly’s poetry corner, where a poem or piece of writing is presented with a prompt. Readers are welcome to respond to the prompt with original poems, and pieces may be featured in the next issue of the Weekly.

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The Bright Side
by Chima “Naira” Ikoro

One time—or every time,
whichever time—
I was rushing to get out of the house,
I hesitated for a split second,
considered bringing a jacket,
and decided not to.
Later as I ate lunch with my sister,
or walked through the park with my friends,
or traveled from parking spot to destination
I discovered it’s much too cool for comfort in the shade and I was
cold.
Not cold enough to complain,
just chilly,
the kind that forced me to rub my arms as if to comfort them,
and I kept moving.
At some point,
there is a break in the building,
or a gap between the trees—a sunny spot
that made the sidewalk hot.
The warmth illuminated the standing hairs on my arms and told them to rest
and I lingered there,
finally warm. So grateful
for the break from shivering,
I almost forgot I was even cold.

As I move on,
reintroducing myself to the cool breeze,
my shivering and I come to an understanding.
Even though I had to part ways with this slice of heaven,
I return from the shade with new knowledge;
It is cold
right now,
but the sun is somewhere back there behind the trees,
and, if given the chance,
Warmth is a guarantee, eventually.

Chima Ikoro is the community organizing editor for the Weekly. She last wrote about segregation in Chicago.

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Prompt

“Write a piece showing gratitude to whatever aspect of life that makes you happy to be here.” 

This could be a poem or a stream-of-consciousness piece. Submissions could be new or formerly written pieces. 

Submissions can be sent to bit.ly/ssw-exchange or via email to chima.ikoro@southsideweekly.com.

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