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A Question of Confidence

                                                                                                        A Question of Confidence

                                                                                                           for R.C.

I had stopped the practice of poems

nearly 20 years until my mother died.

Her last breath a hiss

steam seeking relief.

Unsure, but propelled

I clutched with purpose again

a pen, spun its piston

and faltered off.

The year before, a false start.

I sent fresh ramblings

to a pal in the business of books.

His blunt and learned reply,

urged another avocation

my confidence could not scale

the steep peak of his approbation.

I laid down my pen again

for some part of a year.

A letter arrived from an older poet

a master, hero of days

when writing was urgent

as breath. The kindness in his voice,

the friendship bridging the gulf

of years, made me bold

to send some poems.

“You’ve got it”, he said,

“You always did”

My skin puckered like a swimmer’s in cold wind.

He would not lie

about a poem. His letter

arrived and I arrived with it.

Not too late after all

In good time

the evening of my life

to be sure but

who would spurn a sunset

because it arrives late in the day.