(After Theodore Roethke, “The Waking”)
I wake to write, and take my writing slow.
Daylight becomes dusk, the verse undone.
Words grow wings and fly—where do they go?
I learn by losses what I need to know.
The proper words for grief—what do I know?
When love passes one by— put that in rhyme?
The Phoenix rises, coolly and aloof;
I see this as an unwelcome sign.
Its leaving leaves me humble. This I know—
what flies away is knowledge, taken air.
Oh, the wealthy tree that it calls home—
once an orphan sapling, thin and bare.
I wake to write, regret that it’s so slow …
I learn by losses where I need to go.