Today I Am a Poet, by Justin O’Brien

I am not always a poet.
But today I am a poet because 
someone has to give a name 
to this spring day and sing its praises.

You might ask, 
“Do you have to be a poet 
to give a name to this beautiful day 
and sing its praises?”

“Yes,” I might respond. 
“But I can deputize you. 
You can be a deputy poet today.”
Then I would deputize you, 
making you swear to tell the truth.

And you might say, 
“Today is like a newborn opening its eyes 
to see its mother for the first time 
and to feel the warmth of her belly 
and hear her strong heart 
and rumbling contentment.”

“Yes,” I might say, 
“Today is also like a completed song 
that I’ve been struggling to weave 
from frayed threads of melody 
and scraps of lyrics, 
and which has suddenly unfurled itself 
like a tapestry of symphonic majesty.”

And you might smile and ask, 
“Can I be a poet again tomorrow?”
And I would answer, 
“Yes. Yes, of course you can.”

Justin O’Brien, Mineral Point