Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July 19: Poet of the Week, Beverly Matherne, "Paper Boat"

Yes, I have the energy to name a new Poet of the Week.  I have chosen my friend and poetic mentor, Beverly Matherne.

I have know Beverly for over twenty years.  She was the director of both my Master's thesis (short stories) and MFA thesis (collection of poems).  I always tell people that she is the reason that I'm a poet.  Once day, while we were going over a short story that I'd written, she leaned back in her chair and said, "You know, Marty, I think you have the makings of a poet."

I immediately dismissed the notion, but she persisted for almost a full semester.  Eventually, I relented, signed up for a poetry workshop.  The rest, as they say, is history, and I was launched on a lucrative career in poetry.

In some ways, Beverly saved my life because she introduced me to poetry, which has kept me sane over many difficult times in my life.  I am so grateful to her for that.

So, tonight, Saint Marty is introducing his disciples to Beverly Matherne.

Paper Boat

by:  Beverly Matherne

As though we'd rehearsed it . . .
our hands on the hairline of your
forehead, the tips of your shoulders,
your shins, ankles, the tops of your feet;
with one ceremonial push,
we launched you out the window,
through the fog in the swamp,
under the hidden moon;
we urged you on, did not oppose
the drift, as your breaths became
labored and fewer then stopped.
We let go of you, the way
a small boy float a paper boat
in his back yard coulee, the space
between the boat and him widening.

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