4.19.2007

National Poetry Month #19

When We Were Poets

Language wasn’t ashamed of us.
We lived like our poems,
nailed words into a chair
if we dreamed of a chair.
We listened to the rain and remembered
speech is a gift each time.
We put it all on the line, every poem
necessary as a button.
We knew our purpose. We stood like elms:
didn’t plaster our names everywhere,
we unpeeled ourselves to write
epithalamia for heaven marrying earth
in a million meadows. Life was big enough!
We could wait out the winter
for real plums.
- Shelby Allen

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