Is Poetry Dead? No, It Is Very Much Alive

I read your obituary in today’s paper,

in the life section next to book reviews

and the New York’s Best Seller List,

and wondered who would ever think

you were actually dead.

 

Just yesterday, we stood in line at the local bakery,

calling the baker for a free sample

of chocolate chip cookies. Crumbs fell from

our drooling lips, people stared

at us like we were little children. I hid

behind your stiff frame, laughing as

 you tried to speak with your mouth full.

 

Today, I happened to catch you in between

an old couple brushing hands

as they strolled the neighborhood, eyes beaming

as if the sudden touch

happened for the first time.

You got out of the way when they linked hands,

fell into a stranger’s yard

and was swept away by the owner’s leaf blower.

 

We met in the corner

of my third grade classroom,

radiating from the shelf,

you had a yellow ageless kind of smile.

You found your spot on top of our graded papers,

floating from the dusty shelf into our teacher’s arms—

 into the lives of twenty five curious children.

 

I looked for you in my morning commute,

hoping to find you nearby—

behind a book or on an LED screen.

Instead, I found you everywhere.

Pieces of you floating into a woman’s hair,

grazing a child’s cheek, and waking up a tired waitress.

 

They all looked up in wonder

at the still air, questioning what aroused

their sudden attention. You danced down

the subway cart, continuing to bring my attention

to unsuspecting passengers. I watched

and laughed as I jotted down each moment, each person

thinking how amazing it must be

to see life through your brilliant eyes. 

This poem is about: 
My community
Our world

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