Peter Chapman Poetry


thinking he could be patient and thrilled
the man, not that far from being a boy,
put his card in the pocket of a favorite coat
and donated it with a box of old clothes to the thrift

years later a poet introduced himself to the old boatboy
smiling as one
himself given to reuse and modesty
and read a short poem he'd composed for the event:

think about what it feels like to be an artist
and you feel a silvery thing in your mouth,
put there by the spoon
your heart is
when you gladden to the secret
life you lead, asking others
to let you alone
and just be fair

so what then, he thought,
here's this poet reading to him
in a familiar coat, how should he feel
who never wrote, but knew
he could and would
and would