Ballpoint Chisel (for Sharon Olds)

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:; tools:

About Jim Stewart

Writer at Butt in Chair
This entry was posted in Poem, Slice of Life, women, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Ballpoint Chisel (for Sharon Olds)

  1. Melissa Shaw-Smith says:

    What a great personal ode to a poetry superstar. Thanks!

    • narble says:

      You’re welcome. She’s long been one of my heroes. She was on hand for the launch of a Master of Creative Writing program at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. She read and I met her very briefly at the signing table. I literally woke up in the middle of the night with the start to this poem.

  2. A bit creepy Stew
    U are
    What has always been
    The native
    Seeing endlessly

  3. I want to hear all about this conference. 🙂

  4. How wonderful that you at least had the chance to meet someone who inspires you and you admire. It’s hard to keep calm and collected when we feel awe! She’d be honored at what you’ve written.

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