THE GIFT

In memory of Ruth Stone (June 8th, 1915—November 19th, 2011) 

 

“All I did was write them down

wherever I was at the time, hanging

laundry, baking bread, driving to Illinois.

My name was attached to them

on the page but not in my head

because the bird I listened to outside

my window said I couldn’t complain

about the blank in place of my name

if I wished to hold both ends of the wire

like a wire and continue to sing instead

of complain. It was my plight, my thorn,

my gift—the one word in three I was

permitted to call it by the Muse who took

mercy on me as long as I didn’t explain.”                                    

 

From Interstate, University of Pittsburgh Press