One of the responders to my latest post on ‘Differing Perspectives’ is an established young writer with a contract with a publishing house for a book of poetry whose name is Ruth Hill. She sent the poem, ‘Felicia’ and gave permission for me to print it since she said we are both Felicias. There are many of us who wish to remain silent as to how their work comes and many who have names for their muses. And many whose work is their own. Ruth says, “Sight and sound are not enough. Poetry has to have philosophy too. I have noticed poets I am most attracted to have pleasing philosophies. They make me feel like I belong on Earth, not an alien in a foreign country. If someone likes something that I wrote, I feel as if I were invisible and am now seen, silent and can now speak, exiled but am now welcome. A reader on the same wavelength is the most important validation. If I met you in person I would be looking down and shifting my feet, but in a poem I can be the real me.” Ruth Hill’s quote from Heart Magazine (Nostalgia Press) when she won an award.
Felicia was swinging in her sparkly jeans,
cellphone abandoned in the sand.
Who was that speaking to her from the trees?
She heard her army brother, stoic.
He always appeared as in his photo,
white hat and gloves.
Who was that singing? Gramma-fuzzy-slippers.
Who walked beside the swing set with her,
in blue gingham from the 1800’s?
And who stepped out from the wall to dance?
The one they told her had died of polio.
How was it she learned algebra?
With no one at home to teach her?
Her father was an engineer;
she never met him.
How was it her gardens grew,
better than Mary Contrary’s?
Whispers, whispers, in the wind,
there was a knowing,
a sureness moving her fingers.
There was a feeling she had been here before.
A feeling she had companions.
A feeling she had inherited
everything she needed to know,
and comfort with it.
She would be a very lucky girl, indeed,
as long as she never. . . . revealed her sources.