Today, unlooked for
I was handed a gift.
Sometimes, it happens.

It was an extra-ordinary experience, sitting there with seven others who were responding to my poem, finding in it what they needed at that moment. I didn't want to admit to myself that this was what had happened. Why? It would sound too arrogant, too egotistical? And yet it was my words, the ones I had chosen to put in that particular order, which had reached them in such a powerful way.

Their willingness to share this, was a gift to me.

And yet, and yet, I crave publication, which would only distance me from this raw, visceral, resonance of a person's emotions with the words I have written. Why? Because publication means validation, recognition, an attainment of some abstract measure of what's good.

"What have you published?" Is the question which often greets me. Nothing. But my words have met another's heart and soul and made it sing. Is that not enough?

Trust the moment shared
as, touched by another's pain,
we feel what's tender.