That’s One of Mine!
I walk to my car, musing over someone’s surprise.
He’d sampled poems on my website, over 10,000 there,
I think. He said, “10,000—that’s a lot. I can’t conceive
of having written 10,000.” I said, those are the ones
on-line. I’ve written something like 150,000.
He was wide-eyed.
(I didn’t forget to self-deprecate. I said, “I don’t
throw back the little ones. I’m not sporting.”)
As I walk down the dark driveway to the underground
parking lot, I think: but I can’t remember most of them,
am surprised to come across some of them—often pleasantly:
“Did I write this!?” Or someone else’s poem reminds me,
I already said that. (Rarely a pun goes by that isn’t at least
a cousin once-removed.) I wonder, too, if God remembers
all of creation, and at that moment I decide to be God,
seeing some sort of spatter mark on the garage wall and thinking
(though in memory it seems to me I cried out) “That’s one
of MINE! And that odd white mark on the floor, and the hover
of air between me and the car, that’s another of mine! Oh,
and there’s a great one, that shadow, and there’s another—
that’s mine too!”
This, begun in sport, bursts into elation. I am
surrounded by patterns of burgeoning creation, created
by my act of exclaiming them to be mine.
How many years in solitary confinement
could I rejoice at swirls of plaster or rust on bars or
the sounds of urination or the changing light on the hairs
of my forearms or the trillion other poems as intimate to me
as the patterns on my retina when I push my palms against
my closed eyes? Or, sans eyes, ears and almost all,
at the way my thoughts plunge into deeper thoughts
and emerge renewed, their bright-speckled, wavery, iridescence
If this, my life, is a prison cell, yet it is made of poems,
each poem a freedom,
and it is all mine.
by Dean Blehert