Writers are natural allies.
We patrol the same landscape.
We know the three AM grope for the right word.
We try not to wake anyone.
We stare at a comma. Just stare.
We wrestle with line breaks.
Semi-colons mystify us all.
There is fascination in miniscule detail.
There is a perfect title. A perfect modifier.
If only we can find it.
Our thesauruses are well thumbed.
We concern ourselves with cadence, clauses.
Care deeply about the present perfect tense
versus the past perfect.
We are entranced by detail, minutia.
We know the weight it must carry.
The girl’s hair down, or should it be a braid?
Her shoes – navy blue. Or better, yes –
Was it raining or threatening rain.
Did she say the word goodbye or whisper it after.
Was the door left ajar on purpose.
Out of all this steely-eyed focus
Nothing is assured.
Recognition, hard won.
What do writers, poets, actually do?
Rebuke in the tone.
We creep into bed in the wee hours
Still grappling with the last line.
Wondering if we came even close.
But on those solitary singular nights
When we may get it right
We dare to join the pantheon before us
Who persisted in the dim light
For what so often seems out of reach,
Leaving bread crumbs behind for others
Should they find themselves