...to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free....

05 February, 2011

a poem for today

The poem comes to the man who is ready for her,
that famous poet said, the man who waits,
vessel, temple, emptied, open as dawn.
But how does a poem come to a woman?  The woman
who waits for a poem is scrubbing a floor, packing
lunches, vacuuming the study of the man who waits 
for a poem.  She is waiting for a poem wrapped
in an old bathrobe, listening to her child cough
in his sleep, waiting to see if  he’s well enough 
for school, or if her day of waiting will be spent 
playing parcheesi, wiping up spills, reading 
about samurai.  In the bluish dawn, gazing
into the silver kalanchoe hanging at the window,
she notices a cluster of drooping leaves--
does it need water, food, is the light too strong
for it?  The woman who waits for a poem lives
in a world calling her every instant:  Keep me alive!
Let her wake empty as a shell, blank as a coin 
rubbed over and over by the days, each dawn 
that world fills her, each dawn, etches her.

Sandra Kohler 
From Ars Poetica Feminae


  1. Sometimes, at this point in my life, I feel like this as I wake. Empty as a shell and blank as a coin rubbed over and over. So I guess this is a good thing.