What It Takes

What It Takes Before You Have Something Worth Saying

Not at first,

 only pen smeared songs

on tangled notebooks at fifteen

while I wrote what could not

be said, not for some boy

but to remove – the things

too strong

to hold

like the hundred under my bed.

Then at twenty,

In fear of transparency,

I made anecdotes

of people I did-….not know,

they fell

flat, like shirtless on my shopping bag.

Then at thirty,

The eye behind the lens, the finger

on record of what was said,

what was not.

took them,

all in.

Still looking through icy windshields.

At forty,

I spontaneous burn the thoughts attached to

the things I want to hold. Looking back

to learn ahead to be something  I haven’t been.

At fifty,

it is told, in type, bound, packaged, weaving,

quilt’d simmer

of domestic


to make easier for the next woman in my shoes.

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