POETRY LEFT ME the day that he hurt me,
Just went. Quit. Didn’t write a note.
Kindness turned its face away, and
Simple words went too, for a while, leaving it
Impossible to describe who I had become.
I was then soundless, all the noise had gone
Which was good, in a way, but lonely too,
My mouth opening and closing for nothing and no-one.
Wordless, speechless, laughter gone, dried of all my tears.
It took a while, I remember, ages actually
And when some of the words came back
They limped about in no coherent order
Aimless and formless, not knowing
How to help me say my name.
I tried not to mind that they were few and
Those precious words I had, I used like Lego,
Brick on brick on word on word,
Plain forms, building a new language
To talk about the world, rewrite myself and
Spell out a bright new resonant name.
It is taking time, days, years, weeks, hours
But I have a little tower, now, of words, quite small
But strong. And with room for me to speak and friends to speak,
And shelter for all those who love me whom I love
And all their words and mine, and there is noise –
No, it is sound and light, and warmth and breath
And heartbeats and time, and kindness and air
And it is mine but I let you in. Welcome!
In these sounding chambers we can speak or sing
Or shout and weep. Or indeed be silent, if that is what we choose.