on poetry

sometimes i read
poems written by modern poets
whose names might decades later inspire college classes in literature;
when that happens i’ll remember sitting on a park bench surrounded
by red and orange leaves, leaping
through their words, pausing for empty spaces.
or they may be forgotten like thousands of other poets and i
will forget them too. but once in a while a piece or two
imprint my psyche, as they speak directly to me;
not because they are original, if such a thing is even possible,
but because they speak of sadness,
like a desolate evening, of love,
like a yearning touch, of grief,
like a languishing cry, of joy,
like a baby’s first words – experiences old
as ancient times, but to understand them now is to be
a part of this history.