There are times I feel unworthy of poetry
incapable of receiving inspiration
cause I’m overly immersed in soap suds and laundry
combing out tangles in hair
and sibling relationships
putting out constant fires
–flashes of jealousy and
fits of frustration so loud
it’s hard to hear the quiet whisper
of a newborn poem
wanting to meet the world

But I need to dismiss these unromantic doubts
because it’s not really about me
Is a candle worthy to illuminate the night?
Yet it is in it’s very disappearing–
that it gives burning light

Your love for me doesn’t depend on my greatness
but is rather a sign of Yours
Fill the empty cup of my heart
to overflowing
Help me exude Your warmth
and be with me
in my noise and chaos

Help me find the whisper of your presence
like flashes of gold in a mountain stream
and amidst all the pebbles
help me find poems


One thought on “Unworthy

  1. Mary Gallagher

    Yes!! I love what you say and how it becomes a prayer. Also reminds me of another poem, in some way: Maintenance, by Robyn Sarah:


    Sometimes the best I can do is homemade soup, or a patch on the knee of the baby’s overalls. Things you couldn’t call poems. Things that spread in the head, that swallow whole afternoons, weigh down the week till the elastic’s gone out of it— so gone it doesn’t even snap when it breaks. And one spent week’s just like the shapeless bag of another. Monthsful of them, with new ones rolling in and filling up with the same junk: toys under the bed, eggplant slices sweating on the breadboard, the washing machine spewing suds into the toilet, socks drying on the radiator and falling down behind it where the dust lies furry and full of itself . . . The dust! what I could tell you about the dust. How it eats things— pencils, caps from ballpoint pens, plastic sheep, alphabet blocks. How it spins cocoons around them, clumps up and smothers whatever strays into its reaches—buttons, pennies, marbles—and then how it lifts, all of a piece, dust-pelts thick as the best velvet on the bottom of the mop.

    Sometimes the best I can do is maintenance: the eaten replaced by the soon-to-be-eaten, the raw by the cooked, the spilled-on by the washed and dried, the ripped by the mended; empty cartons heaved down the cellar stairs, the cans stacked on the ledge, debris sealed up in the monstrous snot-green bags for the garbage man.

    And I’ll tell you what they don’t usually tell you: there’s no poetry in it. There’s no poetry in scraping concrete off the high chair tray with a bent kitchen knife, or fishing with a broom handle behind the fridge for a lodged ball. None in the sink that’s always full, concealing its cargo of crockery under a head of greasy suds. Maybe you’ve heard that there are compensations? That, too’s a myth. It doesn’t work that way. The planes are separate. Even if there are moments each day that take you by the heart and shake the dance back into it, that you lost the beat of, somewhere years behind—even if in the clear eye of such a moment you catch a glimpse of the only thing worth looking for— to call this compensation, is to demean. The planes are separate. And it’s the other one, the one called maintenance, I mostly am shouting about. I mean the day-to-day, that bogs the mind, voice, hands with things you couldn’t call poems. I mean the thread that breaks. The dust between typewriter keys.


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