NaPoWriMo 2019 -Day 7


When I answer the question
saying, “I am a poet,” most often
eyes recede, seek cover, become
opaque window hidden behind
glazed surface. Muscles twitch
in need of movement, and I watch
as he/she races for an excuse
to leave.

Or leans forward with a smile
and says, “Oh? That’s nice,
what else do you do?” As if
this complete and total dismissal
of definition is somehow correct,
and not a slap to face
of my chosen reality.

Dampen down my response,
recalling Frost’s “less traveled path”,
saying, “Actually, I’m retired
and spend a lot of time
on my computer.”

Another smile, then, “Oh, my niece
does a lot of that too, and I find myself
encouraging her to get out more,
and make some real friends.”

At which point, I make an excuse,
leaving, lost in thoughts of other paths,
who, or what, might be lost, or
found, and deep down gratitude
for this path I have chosen.

Elizabeth Crawford – 4/7/2019

Process Notes: Love the Anonymous quote that begins this post, and all of my very real poet friends.

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: https://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ https://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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6 Responses to Lost

  1. Marianne McNamara says:

    “Just because my path is different doesn’t mean I’m lost” is an impressive quote to write to, Elizabeth. How fortunate you’ve been to follow a path that brings you joy. And been successful at it! Love what you’ve written today.
    PS: I love my very real poet friends, too.

    Thank you, Marianne. I love the quote because it makes me laugh when I come across it in my files. I was always the fuck-up and failure in my family. Writing poetry gave me some of the richest experiences of my life. A Grammy Nomination which led to teaching at the University where I had graduated, a column of my own in a local magazine, and many more. For me, it has been the most solid path I have ever followed, and there have been many. And I am often tempted, when asked the question in those first few lines, to ask, “Why, are you lost, do you need a friend?” I’ve never done it, but it is so very tempting.



  2. bwarren says:

    You are not lost, my friend. You are a beacon for the rest of us. I am happy with your chosen profession and hope you keep writing for many more years.

    Brenda, I’ve never thought of myself as lost. Far more so, the individuals who turn away at my response. I usually have to remind myself that I come from North Wisconsin Hillbilly country. If I say, I’m a writer, their next question is “What do you write?” And we are back to square one. Once went to dinner at my sister’s with several of their couple friends. One of the husbands asked me what I did for a living. I told him I was a writer. And he asked if there was a book he could read that I might have written. The entire table had gone completely silent. I took a deep breath and said, “No, not a book, but you can read a poem I wrote that anchored an anthology that was nominated for a Grammy Award. The book is still in print.” He said, “A Grammy Award for poems?” Shook his head, immediately turned to my brother-in-law and said, “So, Tom what did you think about the Packer game last Sunday?” Closed door. And no one spoke to me for the rest of the evening, except my sister. I left very early. I’m not sure if it’s pride or my deeply rebellious nature, but I still respond to those questions with the same words. I do take pride in what I do and have even considered leaving a signed note for after my death, that I would much prefer being buried on a bed of white paper, and instead of flowers, pens, lots and lots of pens, lol. Thanks for the “beacon” comment, you made my day.



  3. Oh yes, the averted eyes, the feeling one is doing something weird and unmentionable…….some of my family even act that way. It makes me laugh. I will have the last word – they will read my books after I am gone and maybe finally get to know me. I join you in your gratitude for our chosen path – that brings us joy, fulfillment and purpose. Many seniors spend their time playing card games or bingo. I would rather write poems.

    So would I, Sherry, so would I. I recently attended my aunt’s funeral. She was the baby and the last of nine children, and my namesake. At dinner, after the funeral, one of my cousins (I literally have over a hundred), leaned over and asked me if it was true that I had some kind of book published. I told her about the Grammy nomination and where that all led me. She put her hand up, gasping, and asked, “Why the hell don’t any of us know this?” I shook my head and said, “I don’t know, maybe I’m just another family secret.” But then, I think of the manuscript I am finally finishing, perhaps spurned on by her question, and have to wonder if any of them would attempt to read it, let alone buy a copy. Have to wonder about who might be lost here, because I’m not.

    Love and hugs from the hillbilly,


  4. neil reid says:

    Yes, assuredly humor here. maybe to wiggle the doggies tail to the other side (and I paraphrase) William Stafford might pose the question/response, “why don’t you write poems yourself?” a decent question actually…

    Neil, I think that would be an excellent idea. Turn it back on the other individual. And yes, for the most part, this does have humor attached to it. If I were angry about it, I’d have worn myself out long ago. I am both pleased and proud of my accomplishments, and know that I have learned much over the years. I not only cherish the path I have chosen, but also know I have some very good skills to assist me in traveling it. It is an Art, and I enjoy it more than I can say. It’s so good to be back in contact with you.



  5. Pamela says:

    I love this piece. You are a true inspiration for me. I am quite glad that I have met you, my friend.


    The feeling is mutual Pamela. And you often inspire me as well. So many reasons for loving this path we have chosen.



  6. annell4 says:

    Yes, dear Elizabeth, if only you knew, really knew. But perhaps your head would be so big, you would have to go shopping for a new hat! Thank you for enriching my life, thank you for continuing, thank you for your support, oh, so many thank yous. No, they will never know, reminds me of the little quote, “Casting pearls before swine.” Just keep casting baby, never give up, never give up….


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