Poet Jane Hirshfield said "... the feeling I have about poem-writing (is) that it is always an exploration, of discovering something I didn't already know.  Who I am shifts from moment to moment, year to year.  What I can perceive does as well.  A new poem peers into mystery, into whatever lies just beyond the edge of knowable ground."

I bring a different poem to the writing classes each week, not only to inspire but to introduce new poets to the group members.

My Great-Grandmother’s Bible by Spencer Reece

Faux-leather bound and thick as an onion, it flakes —
an heirloom from Iowa my dead often read.
I open the black flap to speak the spakes
and quickly lose track of who wed, who bred.
She taped our family register as it tore,
her hand stuttering like a sewing machine,
darning the blanks with farmers gone before —
Inez, Alvah, Delbert, Ermadean.
Our undistinguished line she pressed in the heft
between the testaments, with spaces to spare,
and one stillborn’s name, smudged; her fingers left
a mounting watchfulness, a quiet repair —
when I saw the AIDS quilt, spread out in acres,
it was stitched with similar scripts by similar makers.

~ from The Road to Emmaus (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2014)


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