10 RULES FOR POETRY, #9
Don’t keep anything for yourself:
the scent of white iris or wild grape flowers,
the empty spaces between stars,
the russet tail of the crested flycatcher
and his raucous, tuneless voice. Don’t keep
linnet’s wings, or the hummingbird
who bathed this morning
under the spray of your garden hose,
or the scarlet tanager, always just
out of sight in the oak.
And don’t keep uncertainty. And tell us
when you mourn. When you are afraid,
don’t hold it close. When the world
is too much with you, when darkness
comes every morning, when the center
cannot hold, when everything
you love is falling away, when dust
is rising and settling on every inch
of grass and skin, when the brief
candle flickers, don’t keep it.
Tell us, tell us how we aren’t alone.
Honorable mention Comstock Review contest, Fall/Winter 2016