I am thinking about the future
at the bottom of your coffee cup.
I am thinking about the dreams
given to you
by the mountain slavs.
I am thinking about the language
to speak your secrets.
I am thinking about the dark stone
on the ocean floor
burrowing towards the light.
Don’t die with that question in your throat.
* * *
Today I used the same technique as I did for The Goose Girl. It was taught to me by Barbara Marsh on Writing Poetry: Experiments in Choice and Chance. The technique: choose a poem that you do not know well, preferably one that you have never read before. After each line of the poem, write your own in response. Then lift out your own lines and use them as the basis for a new poem.
The poem I used as my starting point was Why Are Your Poems so Dark? by Linda Pastan.