Week 12: Ticket to Ride

The song I remember from spin this morning: “Eight Days a Week” by the Beatles. Forgot my water, so that freaked me out and took my mind off the music. Went to grab it after wiping the sweat away, and realized that sitting in the dark far from the door was not a good thing. Oh well.

Thank you to all the visitors who’ve posted to this site. I’m not sure I totally understand what’s going on (or what I’m supposed to do), but the Poetry group I signed up with has drawn more visitors to my page, and that’s always welcome.

So, in honor of the new visitors, I’m posting a poem especially for them. Uh, that is if I can find it.

Here it is. I wrote this for my students several years ago …

“It was foolish and arrogant … to think you could imagine the truth of another human life, to penetrate its deepest secrets…”               – Richard Russo

For Young Friends

I won’t pretend
to understand how night
holds you under
or where you go
when a riff of chords
pulls you down
or what happens
to a heart
that beats for no one
or how it feels
when panic grabs your throat.

But I do know some things,
things we all learn
elsewhere, nowhere.
Pain, fear, emptiness.
These are things I know too.
I won’t pretend
to understand your darkness.
But I will stay right here
as shadows lengthen
on empty streets
and listen
for the beat of your heart.

Maybe a bit heavy, but I never forgot how hard it was to be 15, 16, or 17. But what I also learned from my best student writers was that you could laugh at the world in your writing. You could put the little absurdities of life into the palm of your hand, turn them around and write about them. That was what my student writers really taught ME about writing poetry. And so it goes…


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