The author of this poem, Rachel Wetzsteon, died on Christmas Day of this past year. She has a new volume of poems being released soon, and I will buy it. (And I will notice that my collection of poetry is starting to grow, and I will wonder again at a young man who knew - decades ago - that I had a poet's soul, and I will be amazed that I am just now discovering this about myself.)
This is what I am beginning to worry about. This is what I am starting to do. If I don't start to pay attention - be more full of intention with my writing - I may one day ask the very pines to opine, hoping to command the Muse. And I know it doesn't work that way. Life does not work that way. (I wonder why she called it "MacDowell"?)
by Rachel Wetzsteon
For once I fought back,
answering Oh yes, someday
when a restless muse asserted
This golden age needs treatment on the page.
It was the strangest lesson—
all that ink to make me think
shadows were real, this silence
when one true heart so manifestly was.
Time passed. Themes amassed;
I scoffed at amber, basked in oxygen.
Now in this little cabin
where no sightings slake my cravings
and my pen gets back its need to conjure,
on the ingots I have stored, oh pine, opine.