In the weekly poetic reading/exercises that I am doing with Laura Salas I find that some weeks are easier than others. This week’s was one of the toughest for me and yet, once I made myself do it, I learned a lot. People say that if there is no joy in the writing you should just stop writing. Yesterday, today, there was much joy and I am grateful.

Poem a Day #14

Yesterday I challenged myself to call up
an old poem and listen carefully
to the sounds of the story
it spilled upon the page.

Unable to imagine success, I resisted,
like a child unwilling to take a nap.
The task was hard and made my brain hurt
in places that felt unused.

I forced myself
if only to keep from being embarrassed
when I had nothing to show
for the day.

Surprise tapped me on the shoulder
and I was face-to-face
with my old friend joy,
the one that comes with word play.

My pulse raced, just a little,
and though it was time to break for dinner
I found I couldn’t stop
I didn’t want to stop
I had to write just one more word.

I couldn’t hold the high for long,
just long enough
to create a crack, in the concrete,
of my storyteller’s soul.

Susan Taylor Brown.
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