Robert B. Shaw
Anthology Piece - Poem by Robert B. Shaw
Why, I sometimes wonder, out of all
the spirited conceptions of my Maker,
am I the chosen one? Reprinted ceaselessly,
misprinted sometimes (I have had death appear
in place of dearth, and yes, there is a difference),
memorized by the multitude—why me?
Something in my unmistakable rhythm
seems to have taken readers by the ear;
or could it be my undemanding scenery,
dusty road pointing ahead to sunset?
Woven snugly together with accustomed
sentiments toward all that's transitory . . .
What could be simpler? By this time I might
be sick of it myself, were I not bound
to bless my access to eternity.
As for the man who set my sky ablaze,
he grew to loathe my popular appeal,
but of course wasn't able to disown me.
Once I was plumper; seven lines, some good,
didn't survive the last slash of his pen.
(You'd never know: he didn't save the drafts.)
Now I am all that keeps his name alive,
pressed by hundreds of pages front and back.
Saffron pyres flicker on my horizon.
He'd have pissed on the embers if he could.
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