Long ago I shook your hand
and told you how much
I love your work.
I wanted to tell you
what little I know about women
has come from my wife
and your carefully erected words.
I wanted to tell you how many
life lessons I’ve found illuminated there,
but someone pressed from behind
and, as you signed,
the fleeting moment flew.
The sheer emotional key of it
makes me grateful for that spark.
I wanted to be master of my native tongue,
runed into the page with my ballpoint chisel.
Your smile implicitly offered permission
to be what I already am.
(Ms. Olds: sharonolds.net; tools: blog.adennichols.com)