Lest it go unspoken
There is joy
in the hair I brush each morning,
in the Cannon towel, newly washed,
that I rub my body with each morning,
in the chapel of eggs I cook
in the outcry from the kettle
that heats my coffee
in the spoon and the chair
that cry “hello there, Anne”
in the godhead of the table
that I set my silver, plate, cup upon
All this is God,
right here in my pea-green house
and I mean
though often forget,
to give thanks,
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.
So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning,
lest it go unspoken.
The Joy that isn’t shared, I’ve heard,
— Anne Sexton
I really love poetry. I can’t even remember exactly when I started to love it. I remember being in middle school and scouring the library for poems. I would copy down the ones I loved into small notebooks that I carried with me everywhere. I would read them until I started to know them by heart. I collected poetry the same way that some people collect baseball cards or rare coins.
I felt something reading a good poem that I had not really felt before. I can’t quite explain what that feeling was, but to find a poem and savor it made me come alive in a special way. To feel the words on my tongue, and to enter into an experience, a moment from the thoughts of another, was exhilarating. I feel this way whenever I read a good poem. I want to immediately share it with someone else, hoping to see the same sparkle of something-ness in them that it evoked in me. Good poetry makes you feel, or rather, it lets you feel.
I’ve even written some poetry in my day. I don’t often share it, and I haven’t written anything in a few years. I keep thinking I might like to be a writer, that maybe even God might like me to be a writer. I think the reason I’ve not continued with poetry is that I haven’t found my voice. I know there are things God wants me to say, and stories only I can tell, but I do not know at all how to say them. Maybe 2011 will be the year I try my hand at poetry again.
In the last year or so I have gotten away from poetry. Then I read something that takes my breath away, and I remember this love of mine. It’s a love I hope to share with my daughter, and one I hope to share more with you all!