With the New Year I find myself going back to my poetry roots. I’m often reminded that there is no money in it, but as John Gardener said, The rigors of writing generally bring no profit except to the spirit. For those who are authentically called to the profession spiritual profits are enough. I admire Gardner and everything he said. But sometimes a little coin in the pocket would be nice.
Poetry was my first love so a relapse into the embrace of its rhythms is like the comfort of a secret hiding place, a letter from an old friend, a spiritual pick-me-up after a fiction fall.
The Rebel You
Remember when we walked barefoot across the grass
for a better view of the Big Dipper?
You lost your lighter and I tried to block
the neighbor’s yard light with my hands.
We pulled chairs off the porch and watched for shooting stars.
Remember when we traipsed back to the pond
to see what the “kids” were up to because the adults were boring?
We sidled up to the campfire and they tried to hide their bottles
behind their backs. As if we cared?
Remember when we lip-synced
in front of the mirror to love songs
and dressed up in long gowns and wondered
what it would be like to kiss a man and own a wardrobe?
My first kiss was a clear miss at the top of the hill
and I don’t own a little black dress.
I’m still the kid in front of the mirror
and this summer when you visit I want to set up camp
on the lawn with a cooler so we don’t have to go in the house
and whisper over the contents of the refrigerator,
afraid to wake those who sleep at night and miss meteor showers.
This time I’d like to smoke one of your cigarettes
and watch the sky turn pink and judge time by the heavens,
not by what we’re supposed to be doing
and haven’t accomplished.