When I studied poetry with teens, I told them to look for the “shift” in a poem. “Shift happens,” I’d declare. The poem begins with a young girl crying over loss in her life, but ends with an epiphany about life’s impermanence. “Notice where the poem changes course,” I’d advise. There we discover the poem’s kernel of truth.
“Shift happens” in life as well. Our country has felt a monumental shift. Now we seek to understand its message. We need to learn from each other and find new epiphanies. We need to come together to navigate this disconcerting SHIFT.