When a door bangs shut, a window doesn’t open.
Sometimes, it slams on your fingers. God often
gives us more than we can handle. A sorrow
shared is a sorrow multiplied. There’s a bottle
of Champagne waiting to be uncorked,
but it’s not for you. Nobody wants another poem.
The prize-winning envelope has someone else’s name
on it. This year you already know you’re not going
to lose those ten pounds. How can you feel hope,
when the weight of last year’s rejections is enough
to bury you? Still, the empty page craves the pen,
wants to feel the black ink unscrolling on its skin.
In spite of everything, you sit at your desk and begin.
Barbara Crooker is the author of eight books of poetry, including Les Fauves (C&R Press, 2017) and The Book of Kells (Poeima Poetry Series, Cascade Books, 2019). Her work has appeared in The Bedford Introduction to Literature, in Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry,” and on The Writer’s Almanac.