Wednesday, November 4, 2015

An Evening of Poetry

Mr. Chip Dameron.  He gave me great advice.
Mr. Glen Sorestad, the first Poet Laureate
of Saskatchewan, Canada (2000-2004).
Last night, I attended a poetry reading at the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art.  The poets were Chip Dameron, a local professor emeritus of UTRGV, and Glen Sorestad, Saskatchewan, Canada's first Poet Laureate.  I walked into the room and knew I was in the presence of greatness; literary heroes, if you will.

Chip signs my copy of his book, Waiting for an Etcher.
He said I have a beautiful name.
I immediately zeroed in on Chip.  I wanted to soak up as much wisdom from him as I could.  From what I had heard and read about him, he was easily one of my new heroes.  With a number of published books on poetry and reputable as a professor, he represents a good portion of what I want to be when I grow up.  I picked his brain, asking about whether or not he recommended eventual grad school for writing, and how he suggested going about being published one day.  He was very personable and helpful, and provided me with good leads I would not have had otherwise.

But that was not my favorite part of the evening.  My favorite part of the evening took me by surprise, like words perfectly penned together often do.  Glen Sorestad read an entry from his collection, A Thief of Impeccable Taste, titled, Ten Years.

Ten Years
It is now ten years since you left.
After the mini-strokes, the path
your body wobbled down
as it slowed to a final stop,
after the final stroke unworded you
and shrunk your world
to the size of a hospital bed,
your heart unwound until nothing
and no one could wind it up again.

Ten years now I have missed you
daily –– the desperate reaching out
for what was so long a part of me,
belated recognition, with its constant
reminder, of how a mother is
heart and core of what a son becomes.

How I miss your easy laugh,
the gentle accord you fashioned 
with the small world you knew
and neither demeaned or questioned,
but accepted and lived with as though
it held either everything or nothing
of how life's mystery unfolds.

He read this poem with a simple and gracious ease.  And I wept.  Wept.  I didn't anticipate that I would cry when I decided to attend this poetry reading.  I didn't expect the emotion this particular poem would evoke in me.

What Mr. Sorestad didn't know was that I have a four-year old boy at home who is one of my greatest joys.  But recently, I have found myself, on occasion, growing frustrated with him.  The words in his poem, "with its constant reminder, of how a mother is heart and core of what a son becomes," cut me to the core.  And reminded me what is of utmost importance; the current stage of life my son is in is temporary, but his character will be lasting.  I am to continue the work I am doing in his life, knowing that it is not done in vain.
Glen Sorestad signs my copy of his book, A Thief of Impeccable Taste.
I thanked him for reading Ten Years.


  1. I've met both of these amazing gentlemen. They do have amazing poems and a kindness that makes them very approachable. It would be so nice to take a class again as an adult to really glean more information from them and enjoy poetry more as a more mature adult than I did when going through college.

    1. Yes, they are amazing!!! I'll take classes from them as an adult if someone else pays for them! ;)