pink clouds and birds header
Photo by Kenrick Mills
Most of Us Live Off Hope Street
Poetry can feel like a deep breath–a few second break from the busyness. Harvard Kennedy School student Becky Nirav shares an original poem, with an introduction by U of U Health mindfulness educator and social worker Trinh Mai.

"What we need is here.”

In this poem, Becky invites us to pause and remember: hope and strength can be found around us and inside of us. From green grass rising out of dark asphalt to the stomp of our feet and power in our bodies, inspiration is here, if we tune in and pay attention. Nature is an especially wise and generous guide, offering countless, colorful displays of hope and strength. Even in the bleakest environments, the poem reminds us, there is “life persisting with delicate ease.”

“What gives you hope and strength?”

Perhaps after reading the poem, you might take a moment and reflect on this question with yourself or your team, noticing how it feels. Or you might hold the question as you conduct your daily activities or go on a walk or run and see what you discover.

–Trinh Mai, Mindfulness Educator/Social Worker, U of U Health Resiliency Center

Most of Us Live Off Hope Street

By Becky Nirav


y body rushes down Hope Street,
fleeing towards the edge,
telling cars to simply 
No pulsing engines on this road tonight,
only air 
as dark as the underside of asphalt,
laid down to suppress the burning earth.
But that beauty still rises
still breathes 
from under Hope Street.
Grass stuck between the cracks,
life persisting 
with delicate ease.
Tree trunks pushing up the sidewalk,
weeds growing green
where they are not supposed to grow.
Acorns dancing on the street,
leaves singing on graceful branches,
earth swelling to the soles of my shoes,
billowing and exhaling infusions of Hope.

Now I take a turn
to draw strength from Power Street.
Leaping down the wide path 
brightly lit
for this celebration of my arrival.
Fear buried with every stomp of my feet,
driving midnight tension underground,
reciprocating new energy up
through my toes.
Shady spots beckoning to be reclaimed,
hidden corners finally revealed,
glances abated.
Only me and the road,
body inhaling the Power 
to get home.


Trinh Mai

Director of Mindfulness Programming, Social Worker, Resiliency Center & Wellness & Integrative Health, University of Utah Health

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