This is not a poetry blog. This post is a different variety of declaration urging people to use their voices.
Recently, I gave the gift of the poem that follows to a 60-year friend for Mother’s Day. It began as a remembrance of the letters we wrote as kids leveraged with the delicious detail of handwriting terms, of my friend’s mother’s passing, and as poems do, evolved into a lament of the fact that our kids don’t experience the joy of a handwritten letter.
IN OUR HANDWRITING
in pale vellum.
penned, licked, sealed, received.
Cursive lines of love disguised
as the details of summers in
Maine, in Florida, from the south rim
of the Grand Canyon when our objections
to separation went unheard. Teenage
upstrokes borne of ‘60s hope for a
world of love. Warm summers, easy
flourishes. Secrets of bad
boys we loved, descenders
too delicious to
cast aside. Young
skill sets, no
r e m o r s e.
neither of us
for the mother of love,
gentility, kindness, the
community’s baseline for
care, to show us how to live without
her. Allographs of wholeness descended
into stressors, curves of pain, disbelief.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps, love
sleeps in the next room, cancer
notwithstanding. The hand
of penmanship, in
After a very challenging week, a co-worker penned a note of thanks to me for my patience, professionalism, support and counsel. Such a gesture of appreciation in a business environment is not often given. I can say that the note’s influence continues to resonate. I read it every day.
The importance of using our voices intimately, oratorically, conversationally, poetically and in prose cannot be overstated. Neither can the case for penning deeply personal thoughts and wishes to others. It’s the highest form of personal expression and tribute.