The Last Poem of April
April was only cruel in that it exacted from me
31 poems, whether I liked it or not,
but mostly, truth be told, I liked it,
and I moved freely and by choice
through the month, writing a poem
every day until today,
the day on which I write
the last poem of April.
I wrote, in no particular order,
of foolish pranks, a dead squirrel,
presidential fibbers and performance poetry.
I wrote about self censorship and then
I wrote a poem I did not publish
about having a thing for women’s shoes.
I wrote about drumming, drinking beer, taking it easy,
mowing the lawn and surfing the web.
I wrote about teenagers and teachers
reading Ancient Chinese poetry,
Walt Whitman, and Edgar Allan Poe.
I wrote about perfect days gone bad,
make believe encounters on monkey bars,
the owls against the Cyclops,
my mother, my son, my rejection
of Christianity and my admiration for Buddhism.
And finally, I wrote about writing about all of these things.
In conclusion, I wrote 31 poems and published 30
of them in a single month and I would do it again.
I can’t say that I became a better poet,
only that I did a thing that I wanted to do
and was motivated to follow through simply
because April is, for some reason, the month
of poetry (nothing cruel about that),
and because I saw a blog-thing about
writing a poem a day for each of the 30 days.
No one held a gun to my head, no one harassed me,
no one checked in to see if I was being honest,
no one gave me a grade or a cookie,
but there were visitors, some friends,
mostly strangers, who came to read and were silent
or they liked it or they followed it, mostly without comment,
only an occasional blip, two, or three in my stats.
But that was enough to keep me going
and I feel a deep gratitude for them all.
Poets don’t ask for much, it seems–
a reader or two, a blip in their stats,
a kind word here and there,
and a helpful suggestion strategically placed
on a website some good writer-person
set up for the occasion. That’s all.
A little encouragement could be habit forming
and who knows, somewhere some poet
will write a poem a day for an entire year.
Look at all those poems lined up side by side!
How many times could we get to the moon and back with our poems?