Writing for the necessity of joy and the joy of necessity...

R a s m a   H a i d r i


Over there the window

shows morning—gray sky

proves the earth has been turning.              

Here nothing moves. A cat.

A child asleep. A pot of tea.

The closed cover of my writing journal.

I do the tai chi formPreparation… Beginning…

all the way toSingle Whip.

It’s all I know.

Assume the Spirit of the Crane, the instructor said,

but the shadow I cast was broken. When is a crane—?

When is unbalance flying?

I asked a man what he does for a living and

he said: I used to be a poet. Why used?

Because I am no longer writing.

I am a poet not writing.Days of not

writing turn into weeks, months,

until the taste ofpoet

is a wet pill on my tongue,writer

a remarkable piece of clothing I wouldn’t

even know where to buy.

My child hits her head and sick

soaks my non-writing hands that hold her to my body.

Her breath is small cranes flying.

When is a poet—?

I slice onions, comb the cat, teach a child

to erase words without ripping.

My hands cup water to my baby’s head.

In the window—gray sky. Tomorrow

I will start again from nothing.

Winner of the 2018 Ars Poetica Prize at Riddled With Arrows