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what i see when i look at you

(This poet carried on a prison inmate correspondence, for several years in her twenties, with an artist whose talent was enriched by a tendency to bring out the inner child of even the most hardened criminal when sketching them.

He was so good at this that the poet, upon receiving those sketches, was able to harness her own intuitive abilities to send back a paragraph or two describing the inborn strengths and beauties of each particular individual.

That this teamwork had redeeming value for its receivers and beneficiaries was attested to by what became that artist’s high level preferential status in that ironbound and explosive little society ~ and by the most touching, tearstained, wobbly-lettered, misspelled notes those receivers sent back to the poet ~ though lost now along with the beautifully illustrated envelopes in which they arrived, easily rivaling in soul value much more erudite commentary received in later career:

“Oh, thank you. Thank you. What a kind lady you must be! Nobody has seen that in me since I was five years old …)

*****

Recorded Reading: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lzx2rdnacl0p1y1/what%20i%20see%20when%20i%20look%20at%20you.mp3?dl=0

*****


what i see when i look at you

is not your changeable face
of this lifetime only

changeable

infantile
childlike
aged
triumphant
guilty
vigorous
feeble
happy
complaining
yearning
jealous
contemplative
angry

no

it is
your
magnificent
eternal
unalterable
shining

innocence

*****

Among us, poets are ill paid. In order to continue her work, this one currently lives in her minivan, on an income of a fraction of our nation’s poverty level. If her work has moved, enabled or uplifted you, your contribution to this effort may be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/kx4xka-are-you-a-patron-of-the-arts

*****

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Published by Ana Daksina

Read worldwide half a million times, Ana Daksina is a Troubador of the coming age.

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