Saturday, December 09, 2006


A Poem About A Poet

I was driving in evening traffic in Austin, Texas. It was bumper to bumper, so I was listening to National Public Radio on KUT. They interviewed a poet and spoke about how the death of his wife had affected him. Most of the poem came to me as I sat at a light, and I wrote it down as soon as I got home.

The Poet's Dead Wife

The poet's being interviewed on the radio,
And I listen as I drive the evening traffic.

The poet's wife is dead,
And I don't remember her name,
Or his.

As a man, I understand his grief.
As a poet, I understand his desire
To make a poem of it.

Whether words are used,
Or not,
Is immaterial.

The poetry is within
And witnessed without.

He feeds her birds,
Tends her flowers,
Observes her moods
In her absence,
Because that's who we poets are,
And how, sometimes, we say,
"I love you, and I miss you."

As I sit at the next light,
I feel a need to feed birds,
And mourn in Autumn
For unknown poets
And their losses.


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