OLD, BRILLIANT POET
Becky is an old, brilliant poet and she says I shouldn’t worry.
My concern is valid, she says, every writer foresees
their last great idea. She sits on her porch swing
with a white quilt spread over her lap. It’s October
but the chill is friendly enough, she says,
still more like autumn than winter. I hate the fall, I tell her,
it makes me feel fat, the way I dream about baking
and bread recipes instead of inspiration and book lists.
Becky is resting this afternoon because she has been asked
to translate a Chekhov piece for Norton
and she is a genius when it comes to pacing herself.
She asks if it will make me feel better, to know
she once spent eight hours writing in a Parisian café
and when she brought her notebook home afterward
all she had written was walnut, Caliban, and lightning.
It makes me feel better. Becky reaches forward like Crazy Horse
and points down the road, a thick gold road made of packed sand
that seems to shoot for miles straight from her stained glass door,
and I follow her finger. The postman is coming, she says.
I had assumed, for that crumb of time between
the lifting of her hand and those words leaving her lips,
she had seen something new in the hedge, a new species of bird
perhaps, but Becky’s face is solemn, almost sad.
On the horizon, a bead of dust is erupting, soft brown globe
carrying a white truck from the city.