by Bruce Berger
The Geography of Hope: Poets of Colorado’s Western Slope
Think of those naturals who started right off
Like mad, who were born with terrific prose styles,
Who made principled campaigns for public office
Too soon. They cleared the ground so fast you thought
They’d turn you into someone who knew them
And just kept shrinking into thin air until
You forgot to watch, then forgot you forgot to watch.
Now they turn up. They look healthy, perhaps
They’re just as full of subversion, puns, scenarios,
Are teaching, fundraising, doing little theater,
Have creative homes, a family started, a shot
At tenure or first percussion. They don’t even
Seem older, just a bit quieter, and it must be only
You who feel let down. Have they consciously dimmed
Their sights? Revised their timing? Or are they
Whole seasons when acedia strikes them dumb?
Even creative homes are cored with midnights
Notched on the bedside clock. Perhaps by day
They spin elaborate counsels to steady themselves.
Patience, they say. One must sit out a time
One has to let go to regenerate. Nothing gained
By forcing a gift till it blocks. Fruition comes
Of its own accord; meanwhile I must lie fallow,
They tell themselves. I am lying fallow.