Thursday, March 17, 2016

I Write Because

I write because Mr Waldron had a poster of “The Road Not Taken" at the front of his classroom, complete with bare brown tree and forked black path.

I write because I needed to fill up the time in study hall and didn't feel like studying.

I write because of Don McLean, The Looking Glass, America, Lennon & McCartney.

I write because what else was an only child to do who couldn't throw a football or shoot baskets or hit home runs or score goals?

I write because of Erin, sage therapist, and Reverend Peggy, wise guide of the spirit.

I write because of autumn in New England. Because of brown eyes and blue eyes in tired faces on the Red Line.

I write because of black coffee and Dylan Thomas. I write in memory of the mixed grill special at Barney’s Bar.

I write because Brother Pat played guitar in the Salesian chapel. I write because of calamity. I write because of resurrection.

I write because of Hart Crane, because of mountains, because of cold water and ambidextrous crushes.

I write because of Saint Lucie’s Day, the yeares mid-night.

I write because of Wishes, Lies, and Dreams. Because of Seamus Heaney and Juan de la Cruz.

I write because Tracy Chapman smote my heart at first sight. I write because Cardinal Bergoglio became Pope Francis.

I write: broken glass, skinned knees, hard fists. I write because the streetwise kids called me maggot, wimp, pussy, queer.

I write because of insomnia and even more black coffee. I write to praise the immortal Wystan Auden.

I write for the woman who looked at me funny when I said I wasn’t married. I write for the tenements of Eastie. I write for the group homes of Chelsea.

I write because Dr Macmillan made me better. I write because Dr Naidoo made me worse.

I write because E E Cummings grew up in Cambridge. Because Uta Pippig won the Boston Marathon.

I write because of ravioli and beer. I write because of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

I write: Simple Minds, the Smiths, New Order, Depeche Mode, the Cure, Dexys Midnight Runners.

I write because nobody's stopped me yet.


  1. Replies
    1. Why, thank you, Elena! I was inspired by one of my fellow Arlington poets, who brought a poem of similar tenor (but briefer) to a recent workshop. I had fun writing it!


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