I Wonder

I wonder how much of what’s on paper is real. I wonder how much of poetry comes from life lived.


A few months ago, I started reading a book of poetry* aloud. I’ve carried it around town and read under the tree, in the park, by the fountain. I carry a blue pen with me, slight weight, fine black ink, the kind of pen that was made to tell stories rather than sign papers, I like to think. The kind of pen that’s meant to be enjoyed rather than kept in a box on a desk for special occasions, but also the kind of pen I’d be sad to lose, so I left it at home once, and those pages are easy to find in my journal because they don’t look like the other pages. I haven’t left it at home since.

I carry a blue pen with me and I annotate, underline, fold down page corners, record dates. I read aloud and sometimes I reread, sometimes I stop because the words have become the sound of my voice and I need to go back to the words. I read aloud and sometimes there are people around and sometimes I stop just to take it all in.

There’s something about the words that makes me braver than I am, that reminds me that I am all I have, that assures me that when everything falls apart again, there’s a way to rebuild.


I can still see the look in your eyes I can’t read, hear the chorus that told me what I already knew and didn’t want to know.

Sometimes I wonder if you’re as scared as I am.

And I laugh at myself for wondering because you’re not. You never were. I wonder if that’s how I seem, too, and I wonder if that’s why I can’t read that look in your eyes.

How much of poetry comes from life lived?

Weimar, Germany – March 2022

*River Flow by David Whyte


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