Then last night I was lying in bed reading Ellen Gilchrist's The Courts of Love: "A psychiatrist told me a lovely thing. She said a great mother produces an irrational sense of security in a child. I'm irrationally secure. That's why I can do such an insecure thing for a living. Once I wrote three mediocre, almost bad, books in a row and still I kept on believing I was a good writer." When I was interrupted from my reading by a small knock. A squinty Ms. Ry was there with her raggedy little girl teeth and rumpled hair and fresh warm smell, blinking in my harsh light. "I've written a new poem."
And yes Ma'am, she certainly did write a poem. Two things strike me about her writing. She composes entirely in her head. No one stands up at the board and writes down lines and rereads them to her as she shouts out more. She keeps all the work orchestrated inside and then recites it finished. Also, I've never read poetry to her. We have talked about poems. Incidentally, she has seen some. But we haven't studied other people's poems. An omission we should correct. But not too quickly. At this moment, she is writing with an innocent originality. Isn't there something so beautiful about that? She isn't studied. She is natural.
The river is fast
As I flow along in my raft
Down the river I go
I see frogs and fish and other things so
But alas, I'm not content
And so I sail down the river away
Never to be seen again that day
The moon is up
The owls are below
And everything is quiet
Except for the hoot hoot
For that is the way the owls go