Though she drove me hard, my muse
Used to be punctual, stopping by
In late afternoon; or to watch the day turn
Upon the point of midnight. Quality did not worry us
We were after numbers; the notebooks still exist
Filled with rough drafts, placeholders for the ones
Which would come in time and take their lordly places
Calm and serene, with every word inevitable.
I’m not sure if the muse who comes now
Is the same who visited me then. If she is
I have not been good for her. She comes in half-frantic
At any hour, disheveled, grumbling, muttering
“Who said that you were a poet?’
When I say “Surely it was you,” she groans
And shakes her head and kicks me awake.