Poetry didn’t desert me
I deserted poetry,
left it to the elements of
popular opinion, negative reviews, and shrinking markets
until it faded to muted colors
that blended into nothing,
shades of gray left to whisper
in a voice too soft to hear.
It frayed around the edges,
melting metaphors into
puddles of prose that froze my fingers
silenced a voice
I no longer felt original enough to share.
Similes refused to dance the hallways of my heart,
consigned, like rhyme,
to the dark
unmarked corners of my life
Poetry never came to me
begging for attention.
It never cared about being center stage
or cashing checks
or gold stickers guaranteed to land a book
on a special shelf at the library.
Poetry simply wanted
to be heard
to be remembered
to be consumed.
I wanted to be famous
or something close enough
to be remembered
if not for all time
for some time
to make my mark on the world.
But mark making is exhausting.
though I never said the words
I gave in
to popular opinion, negative reviews, and shrinking markets.
I shuffle-stepped sideways until
poetry and I were in different waiting rooms
waiting but not wishing
on endings that might or might not
be happy ones.
Poetry simply was,
waiting to be shared
and in the sharing,
the consuming of poetry
both the poet and the poem
I give thanks to poetry
for being an expert waiter,
waiting for me to remember
how wonderful the world can be
when viewed through a poet’s eyes
and then shared
like a feast of favorite foods
for the world consume.
—Susan Taylor Brown
Want to see more Poetry Friday posts? Go check out the complete list of links at No Water River.
Psst. Want to get my blog updates right in your email in-box? All you have to do is hit the SUBSCRIBE button in the top right corner of this page. Then you won’t miss a post. If you haven’t subscribed in the last 6 months you will need to resubscribe as my database was lost. Thank you. Go on, you know you want to. And thank you, in advance.
Wow, Susan. Just wow. Thanks for sharing – I miss you!
Oh Robyn, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and the time to comment. I have missed being a part of Poetry Friday and kidlitosphere so much and now that I am ready to rejoin, it is going to be hard, because I have dropped off so many radars. Plus when I lost the subscriber database there were so many people who used to get the blog but who don’t anymore and since times have changed, will likely not resubscribe. Such if progress. But I told myself I would restart the blog and if I was only writing for myself, it would be enough.
Beautiful words, please do not keep it to yourself
Thank you so very much, Paul.
Poetry is always there for you! And so is the Poetry Friday group — glad to have you back!
Thanks so much, Tabatha. It feels good. It feels like the right time.
I’m glad you’re going to be posting again. This is heartfelt, a jumping off-turn the corner poem?
Thanks so much, Linda. I have missed reading everyone’s great poetry and missed being able to write and share my own.
Susan, it’s so SO good to have you back! Like Laura said, Poetry Friday is like a solid oak tree, just waiting for you to visit for this weekly picnic of offerings. Some of the voices are the same, some different, but the spirit remains.
I’m not glad for your journey away from poetry, but I do celebrate your return.
Thank you, Mary Lee. I can blame part of the disappearance on deciding to sell the house (without an agent) then selling then moving but I think it went much deeper than that. I am happy to be back in warm waters once more. The spirit is what brings me back each time.
This is a marvelous poem with such insight into where you have been and how you feel. This line gives me such a feeling of joy for poetry always being there within our heart and mind: I give thanks to poetry for being an expert waiter,Since I only joined Poetry Friday recently I will look forward to hearing more from you.
Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words about my poem. Poetry Friday is such a marvelous invention! I was so active, for so long, and then, well, as the poem says, I let life dictate too many things. I’m looking forward to getting back into the midst of it all but most importantly, looking forward to writing more poetry.
This is powerful, Susan. I love the idea of poetry being an “expert waiter.” So very true! I am looking forward to reading more of your wonderful poetry! = )