4.06 / June 2009

Poetry Is

Poetry is what you find in the dirt in the corner,
overhear on the bus, God in the details, the only way
to get from here to there
. — Elizabeth Alexander

Poetry is also the dust
under the couch, the crumbs
swept beneath the rug, the Devil in the details,
the lion tamed and the curtains closed.

It’s not the one who brings home the bacon,
nor the one laughing all the way to the bank.

It’s the cries of a welcomed newborn,
the shuddering at the ashes of a loved one,
the towel soaked in love
and watching how it hardens, dries.

It’s the shadows following with their grief,
the dirt road now paved
with new lines and signs—
indications of progress,

the only way
to get from here to there.
It’s a need to put things in order,
a want to get it right. For once.