Poets at 50

Poets at 50 remember the anger and know how it (still) feels to poke with a
stick at the unflinching world.

Poets at 50 quote Ginsburg and Snyder and maybe May Sarton and
if you’re a woman you’ll channel Mary Oliver and wonder over and over
what you’re doing with your one precious life.

Poets at 50 remember the sadness of inexcusable love and loss
and the way the sidewalks looked the morning after and how it enraged us.

Poets at 50 know fear and all its arthritic crippling and how it turns
our hands to ice on the keyboard, freezes our pen in our palm
and leaves us voiceless.

But poets at 50 know that if the hand holds tight its very heat
will thaw the pen, and the voice is as potent served cold as hot.

And the anger will propel us because that’s what anger does, and love,
and sadness, too, and Mary Oliver, asking us (over and over again)
what are we doing today with our one precious life.

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