I wrote the first poem when I was 19 and in college. I wrote the second poem when I was 21, a few weeks after I moved to Washington, D.C.
We are each of us a little bud
Encased within our shelly pods,
Waiting for our blossoms to show through,
But stormy experience is such a persecutor,
Teaching us to stay inside;
To be less beautiful than we can become.
Yesterday, we were both almost there,
But then, like film re-played backward,
We were gobbled back up again
Into our darkness.
We should be be afraid of becoming
Less vivid because of a little frost.
Have you never seen a tiny perfect bud
Which has not quiet made it
Lying on the snow?
Only its outer tips are tainted with rust.
But it will never know life.
She lives in the park.
When it rains, she crouches under benches.
When it snows, she hides in subway corners.
She is small and dark like a mouse’s shadow.
She carries a feather pillow and a parasol,
And wears clothes in layers,
And does not speak the language well.
She knows “help” and “money.”
Even the bums have stopped bothering her.
I wondered if problems were a human creation,
Meaningless beside infiniity.
She is blind.
But there is a world behind those eyes.