Writing Back

Writing Back

“Your writing was
also your fear”
—Ted Hughes
Birthday Letters

Writing back isn’t easy—
It’s like Godiva riding sidesaddle

Writing can be your worst fear—
At times it’s like a nightmare

Like losing your husband—
Your lover, your kids, your job

Fear lurks on your desktop—
You know the surface features

You can taste in your martini—
The malpractice of a mantelpiece

The mermaid clock of terracotta—
Clinking away its fake hours

And whenever you’re writing back—
The swelling terror on the page

Your Schaeffer pen between your—
Greedy fat little dirty fingers

Suddenly you stop and listen—
You’ve actually done in Ted and Assia

Writing back thru his Birthday Letters—
Like he would write back thru yours

Except it was murder she wrote—
And I’m doing the writing not him

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