I’m reading how to read a poem
with an open mind and heart, as one
reads a piece of paper pulled from a bottle
washed up on shore while the wind rages,
rain pummeling your macintosh,
the dog pulling his leash to go home
and have dinner and a nap by the fire.
his words sent to you while he lies
at death’s door, in the arms of his lover,
or perhaps baking bread in a hot apartment.
who knows from where this came, this
particular choice of words put to page
in this book that I happened to pick up
in the heat of this evening, a cars headlights
flashing in front of me, read me, it says
with an open heart and mind, hear me.
Note: Yesterday I read all the poems I wrote in June in 2010. Many of them referred to specific events that happened in my life, in particular traveling to France and Switzerland with Karen to celebrate her graduation. Others were quite mysterious...what was I writing about? what prompted those words? I wished I had made little notes when the poems were clearly unrelated to what was actually happening. Thus, I make a note here that this poem comes from my starting to read the book How To Read a Poem by Edward Hirsch. This book was recommended by Elizabeth Austen; I heard her read at Innisfree Poetry Bookstore in Boulder.