Treasure Island

Shalom Freedman

(Troy New York)

To All Those Who Do Not Read My Poems


You are the world
The Army of everybody
You have a billion things to do
More interesting than reading my poems
I don't blame you
You are right-

Most of you do not care about poems at all
That's your business-

But for those of you who do love Poetry
There are many far greater and far better poets than I
Tens hundreds thousands perhaps millions-
Why read me
When there are so many others better than me?

I don't blame you
Sometimes I think I don't even want you to read me
Much praise is misreading
And much commentary less than wise-

But perhaps I am wrong
A bit pathetic, and exaggerating here-

I have had a few readers after all
And there have been times
When their words moved me

The truth is

No one really reads me seriously
No one has an idea of what I have done-

No one has a remote conception
Of what all the poems taken together mean-

So I suppose sometimes
I am in fact disappointed with
And even angry at you all-

Couldn't even one of you really try to know my work?

It's okay
I'll manage to die without your love-

Continue doing all the things you are doing
Whether for pleasure or inspiration or love
Or whatever

You are there

And I am here

An old man complaining

Loving the writing
Just for what it is
And for my doing it

Thank God for all the poems I have written
Thank God for enabling me to write still

Alone I go on and will go on
Hopefully to very close to the end

Read or unread
I have written another poem
About the situation of the poet

Someone may someday read and value
Or as likely, not.

Submitted: Saturday, August 16, 2014

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