To write poetry is to keep watch
over your dwelling in a dark forest:
It isn’t often that some creature
catches your eye — most nights pass
without as much as a rustling in the trees.
But when it does, it grabs you, wrestles
you to the ground, and demands something of you.
Sometimes a few pennies, sometimes a warm meal,
and sometimes, it seems, your very life.
Sometimes it is the angel, holding you
by the hip, tenderly but with a strong grip,
and it is your great privilege to hold it tightly
and whisper sharply between your teeth,
I will not let go until you bless me.
And only when this scrappy bandit
of a creature is speaking the words over you
as you hold a knife to its throat
do you realize, as the morning sun
is finding its way through the trees,
that you are staring yourself in the face.