Joyce Sutphen (August 10, 1949 -)
Is waiting for you to come along—
some spring (or maybe it’s winter)
in New York or Paris
on your way to meet someone
who will change everything
if you take the right train,
if you look up from the book you
are reading, if you say hello.
The poem never leaves you,
though sometimes it disappears
for months or turns into a cloud
or the moon. You forget about the
poem for many days, and then
one night the moon is shining over
snowy fields, and you follow it
(or it follows you), and that’s
when you remember that the moon
once was a cloud that was once
a poem. The poem of your life
is the one with the camping gear;
she sleeps in a hammock whenever
she can and speaks very softly.
You’ll have to listen carefully to
your poem, but it’s always worth it—
she says what no one else says.
Everyone will want to read
the poem of your life; they’ll
read it over and over until they
learn it by heart, which is the only
way to know a true poem,
and yours will be not only
true but beautiful and good.