If I had never read his poem that day
(it was a day with nothing much to do)
our lives would have been lived in separate ways.
I wrote a note to praise the poem and say
the words were elegant, the premise true,
that I was richer for his poem that day.
He wrote back, was flattered by my praise
and kindly read some of my own poems too.
Then we both went upon our separate ways.
I saw his name again, a poem that strayed
to metaphor as childhood hurt will often do.
I felt a kinship in his poem that day.
Our paths so different, half a world away,
yet we began a friendship, and it grew —
a poets’ bond we share on separate ways.
We trade first drafts, critique, find what should stay,
trust what the other sees, a gift I’d rue
if I had never read his poem that day.
Lives would be poorer traced in separate ways.
– Sarah Russell
The prompt at dVerse was to write about a gift. My thoughts turned into a villanelle.