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Joan heard voices,
and she burned for it.
Driving through the dark
I write poems.
Last night I drove through
a stop sign, pondering
line breaks.
When I explained
the policeman nodded,
then gave me
a ticket.
Someone who knows told me
writer have fifteen years:
then comes repetition,
even madness.
Like Midas, I guess
everything we touch turns
to a poem---
when the spell is on.
But think of the poet after that
touching the trees
he's always touched,
but this time nothing happens.
Picture him rushing from trunk
to trunk, bruising
his hands on the rough bark.
Only five years left.
Sometimes I bury
my poems in the garden,
saving them
for the old days ahead.
One way or another
you burn for it.

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