Nine of Wands (after Emily Dickinson)

child of my past, you
have not traveled far enough
to forget troubles

that once stood before you—ones
you could not tell from the ones

that had been left be
hind—sometimes to understand
means to leave, and some

times it requires being held
by what you could not keep—you

can never find all
the pieces to the puzzle
at the same time—but

so much remains—release what
is lost–make ways to be found

Sarah at dVerse asked us to have a conversation with a poem we read in the last year that resonated with us. Last week I was listening to some poems being read on Brain Pickings, and one particular Emily Dickinson poem, read by Patti Smith, stayed in my mind. As I listened to it several times, I wrote down the words that jumped out at me, and started to make my own poem with them. I sometimes do this when listening to poetry, and find that the emotional tone influences what I write, even if the subject I write about turns out to be totally different.

Sarah’s prompt made me return to and revise the poem, and I thought it went well with a collage I just finished too, based on the Tarot Nine of Wands. I love all kinds of cards, and the symbolism of Tarot is especially rich for the kinds of imagery I use in my collages. Nine of Wands is a card of resilience.

You can read Emily Dickinson’s poem #600, I Was Once a Child, and hear Patti Smith reading it, at Brain Pickings, here.