‘It’s not easy’: Read the poem ‘SAY’ by Rikki Jane Gotthelf

‘It’s not easy’: Read the poem ‘SAY’ by Rikki Jane Gotthelf
Photo: Rikki Jane Gotthelf.

House of Abundance Poetry’s four-year anniversary event fell in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In absence of the physical gathering of this mighty community, ALL ARTS partnered with House of Abundance Poetry (HOA) and introduced an ongoing series with a single-word prompt for each writer: quarantine.

Collective member Rikki Jane Gotthelf is a poet, singer, songwriter and birth doula living in Brooklyn, N.Y. She works full-time as a creative writer and compassionate communicator, dedicated to improving health literacy and body autonomy. Gotthelf loves a good rhyme or reason. For her, the HOA community is unlike any other — a supportive place for expression and inclusion, a haven, a home.

Here is her quarantine poem submission, “SAY.”

“SAY,” by Rikki Jane Gotthelf

Took a bath like I said I would.
I did not meditate like you told me to.

Sometimes I listen, sometimes I lose.

Stayed up late like I said I wouldn’t.
I can’t be good like you think I should.

Sometimes I break, sometimes I buy.

When I say I don’t know what I deserve,
what I mean is,
I want everything.

When you said, they said he wasn’t
pretty enough to be a pop star, I didn’t say,
am I?

Maybe I wanted to be the loser.
Maybe I wanted you to let me.

It’s not easy finding safety outside of your arms.
It’s not easy.


Find a full schedule of poems, to be released weekly in partnership with House of Abundance, here. For more information, future events, and general updates from the community, follow House of Abundance on Instagram at @abundancehouseof.

Top Image: Photo: Rikki Jane Gotthelf.