I Can Be Heroes.
Written by Stacie Withers on Friday the 5th of February 2010
In the damned poets darkness, the place we are gathered after
all the pens run dry and words that once fell
from us have ceased to have meaning, life or flight, I wonder if I shall sit at the table,
join the group and share. Or
shall I stand, picking the seams of the wall paper and hoping
no one calls on me?
Will Sylvia, Anne, Margaret and Aemilia
point and call me fraud? I have no great
weight of reputation to swing at them. I am a
pretender and they will know.
If the time comes when a queue forms and we stand
with hands outstretched to receive, will I be
laughed at and sent to the back of the line to wait and see if there is anything left
once those more deserving than I have had their share?
A shiny, silver, spinning coin. Heads, my work is survives. Do I even
bother, are words worth that much
at hand? Or, if given a second, or two, will I stand and offer the pages to Ted,
and Wilf and Seamus in quiet and arrogant defiance?
Their suspicious iridescence will impress only
As long as I lie. As long as I read.
In the final round, will I be on the ropes, head down and
shouldering the worst of the blows? Or out
fighting, spitting, snarling, knashing my teeth and baring my bloody gums as the last
thought I shall ever have the chance to
speak is hurled from me. Then, once all the words
have been gathered up off the floor,
like lost teeth and limbs, will my count be respected
as my own or simply a truncated ambition to stand alongside those
who outshone me long before I started?
Am I a poet or a poets legacy?