Friday, June 11, 2010

A Really Good Poem

I have nothing to say.  For two days, I’ve been dealing with an uprising of my appliances and electronic equipment.  So far, I am winning, but I have been so distracted by it all, I’ve not had an original idea or a poem in my head. 

Every morning, I open my copy of Good Poems to a random page and read two poems.  This morning I found “When I Am Asked,” by Lisel Meuller.  It says a great deal about me, so I thought I would share it with you.



When I am asked
how I began writing poems,
I talk about the indifference of nature.

It was soon after my mother died,
a brilliant June day,
everything blooming.

I sat on a gray stone bench
in a lovingly planted garden,
but the day lilies were as deaf
as the ears of drunken sleepers
and the roses curved inward.
Nothing was black or broken
and not a leaf fell
and the sun blared endless commercials
for summer holidays.

I sat on a gray stone bench
ringed with the ingenue faces
of pink and white impatiens
and placed my grief
in the mouth of language,
the only thing that would grieve with me.

Lisel Mueller, “When I Am Asked” from Alive Together. Copyright © 1996 by Lisel Mueller. Reprinted with the permission of Louisiana State University Press.

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