Of What We Make Our Poems
Ink, of course, and flecks of skin
on paper remind us who we
are is hatched from who we were,
this film of self now covering
who we will be. Locks of our
mothers’ hair; whiskers plucked,
roots intact, from our fathers’ chins.
And too, our poems are like
our houses. They want more of
us than we had planned to give
Them – this one begs for a new
room, a door where we’d framed a
window; another pushes against
rafters, opens us to sky.
No matter what we say, our
poems are not our children.
They quicken outside our bodies,
run from us before they speak.
One poet I knew made his
of river rock and the black
longing between stars. I’ll make
my poems of silence stitched with words.
Poem / Pauletta Hansel has been a pillar of the Cincinnati poetry community for decades. In March, she was named Cincinnati’s first Poet Laureate. This poem is from her newest collection, Tangle, Dos Madres Press 2015.
Picture / Sara Caswell-Pearce, mixed-media collage (2016), made with original antique photographs and vintage slide, antique key, antique enamel clock face, vintage magazine advertisements, gummed star stickers from a 1935 children’s book, vintage rub-on letters, paper with newspaper inclusions, thread, sewing needle and hair.