She wrote a poem then dared to let
One she thought a friend
See and read. Then condemnation—
Her writing found its end.
She came nigh tears when he said,
“We’ll write today in class.
“Write a poem in any form;
“There is no fail or pass.”
The years had passed; she never dared
To let another see.
So painful-fresh the memory
Of criticism's glee.
“Tomorrow we will spend the class
In reading them aloud.”
She sat the hour with still pencil
And paper blank as sterile cloud.
At home she closed herself away,
Let fear consume her heart.
They’d laugh, she knew without a doubt;
She’d fail before she’d start.
She got her mom’s anthology
Down off the dusty shelf,
She’d read her favorites in that book
But always to herself.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
And Dickinson were there
Along with Frost and Elliot
And Poe’s disturbing fare.
She read for hours, grabbed her pen
To write a simple verse:
“I write for better or for worse;
“My writing’s not a curse!”
They didn’t laugh; they didn’t clap
When she read aloud.
It didn’t matter to her though
She’d wrote again and proud.