| THANK YOU KATHRYN |

I wanted to share with you a poem that someone wrote to me. Also shared is a poem in response. I’m so happy for the amazing support from fellow poets and writers. Thank you. This is true poetry advocacy. I’m thankful and humbled.

EARLY SUMMER FRUIT
for Sam Roderick Roxas-Chua

he says he wants a real published book,
the sharp knife of spine, the dust jacket
corralling a profusion of poems

this young poet has old eyes,
has been around the block a few times,
yet reading beside older poets
with their many books, his own books
pressing to be born, some things he can’t see

those glossy bound volumes
so desired, so surely in his future,
may not outshine this moment’s offerings—
the plaster deer, rescued from Goodwill,
accompanying him to the podium

his small booklets, brightly decorated
and hand stamped, the peerless moment
when he peels them open, reveals a succulent
surprise, early summer fruit,
perfectly formed

Kathryn Ridall

My Response:

The Red of It All

you’ve made a boy cry
into a valley made of straw
each half-drop soaking the
threads of the bluest corn,

a deep hum was heard
at my side today, no ghost or
father of ghosts can claim
the drone in the crevasse,

loose and looser still, the
apple in his mouth is open,
the red of it all, the language
of sugar, the reaching out.

thank you.