Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Where Inspiration Has Learned a Thing or Two

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

Mekeel McBride lives in Kittery and teaches in the MFA program at the University of New Hampshire. In her poem she shows us what we have missed in the winter trees we observe every day.

Where Inspiration Has Learned a Thing or Two by Mekeel McBride

From the trees because they are the true intuitives.
Palm readers of sunlight and storm, calm interpreters
for any kind of wind, doing most of the detective work
on shooting stars and aurora borealis. Their easy come,
easy go romances with migrating birds scarcely bear
recording and not even the quick cinema jump cuts
from summer to snow bother them. Even if there is snow,
temperature in the minus numbers, something continues
to live, invisible, at the core. Looking at the trees, you might
see in the bare branches only the bones of Babayaga’s hand
or the possibility of kindling for your wood stove, owl haven,
or a kind of living elegy blessed on the highest branch
by one thin crow. Of course you could be wrong. What
inspiration looks like is never really what it is.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2006 by Mekeel McBride. Reprinted from Dog Star Delicatessen, Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2006, by permission of Mekeel McBride. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, Special Assistant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at poetlaureate@mainewriters.org or 207-228-8263.