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.

Thomas by Agnes Walsh

He wanted to be a body man in the car racket,
get his own cars and strip them down
then rebuild them like new.

I only encouraged him, started learning the year
of the cars and riddling them off.
As we’d turn the curve around Point Verde pond
and meet a 57 Chevy I’d call it out,
he’d purse a kiss at me and I’d edge in closer.
That was before seat belts.

Sometimes we’d stop the car below the downs
and devour each other whole.
That’s the way it was.

I met him the other day in the parking lot 
of the hardware store.  His children were holding onto his legs,
their red heads aflame like his, still on fire in the evening sun.
He leaned onto the hood of his 62 Ford pickup and said, 
you’re still the same, girl, still the same.

Why don’t you ask me what I’m driving, I said.
Well, all right then, what is it?
A horse and saddlebags, and in summer 
a 650 Triumph opened up on ship Cove Hill.

He threw his flaming head back and laughed.
It was an old joke about dreams.
I might have asked was he still a body man, 
but I didn’t.  I wanted to imagine he still was.

~ from Going Around with Bachelors (Brick Books, 2007)


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