Moving backward was the name of the first collection
Of poetry I put together. I was fifteen, and I typed
The poems on half-sheets of paper and arranged them
Inside a full piece of typing paper. Thirty-five years
Later, I still have the collection, though it is embarrassing
To read. Much of life is embarrassing. The things
We love, the people we love, the ways we love
Are embarrassing. Even to speak of love
Is embarrassing. We are backward in our conversation
Until backward becomes necessary for anyone
Who has learned to love in the wrong order,
In the order of human to human rather than human to self,
Human to world, human to a tree, a rock, a cloud.
Be backward. Go back in. Reverse and it will come.
This morning’s poem was inspired by the meteor showers last night, though I didn’t put them in it at all! But it was also mainly inspired by one of my favorite short stories that I thought of this morning for reasons I am still working on: Carson McCuller’s “A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud.”* It’s a very short story, won’t take you any time to read, so please check it out. It’s online here.