I’ve been writing poetry for oh, around forty-five years. I keep practicing. Someday, I’ll get it right. . .
All this time on the planet, and still I am no wiser
than I was thirty years ago, when I began to write,
scratching on a yellow pad while the voices in my head
screeched not good enough. They’re still shrieking
their shrill words in my left ear, just above the migraine
that’s singing a high E sharp from its perch in my brain.
Not good enough, and I know it, but today the sky
is that low blue note that comes after a storm,
and the locust is sending out round green messages
as it bobs and weaves in the wind. There’s a flock
of cedar waxwings in the sumac, wearing
their little black masks, stealing the afternoon away.
The light streams in from the west, still I wrestle
with my old friends faith and doubt. A thin scribble
of clouds floats by, obscuring the sky, and all the words
are hiding, elusive as that bird over there, the one
that’s singing its heart out, just out of sight.
-from Gold (Poeima Poetry Series, Cascade Books, 2013)
©2018 Barbara Crooker
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