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  • Writer's pictureAlice Wyatt

How A Poem Comes Into Being

  1. something happens to spark a thought, emotion, reaction

  2. grab something to write on

  3. scribble down words

  4. work and work and work until it is A. brilliant B. you want to throw it away

  5. wait a bit

  6. send it off to trusted, talented friends for editing

  7. apply - or - don't apply edits

  8. read it out loud 5 times

  9. call it done - post it on your blog


I ask to listen

to your heartbeat

you laugh

then acquiesce

amused by my pleasure in this

we rearrange our limbs

your arm around my shoulder

fingers splayed against my hip

my head tucks against your chest




why do I love this so?


your breath deepens

a drowsy pat on my shoulder

the pressure of a kiss

on top of my head

your body shifts away from mine

sleep calls

comfort overriding romance

I let you settle

then not to be denied

spoon my body along your length

my arm slips over your waist

even in your sleepiness

you grasp my hand

press it to your heart

in the darkness

peace blankets me

strong - steady - solid


your heartbeat

it anchors my world


I first scribbled down the bones of this way back in... 2014, I think. I loved the experience of snuggling with Michael, hearing his heartbeat, listening to his breathing, feeling safe. Even now, we follow this little ritual almost every night. How to put it into words, though? How to take something that specific and personal and let others (hopefully) not just follow its physicality but its emotion? I sent it off to my two trusted editors and, as you can see in the photo, they had lots of suggestions. Lizzio even rewrote the whole thing out for me with all of her edits because she was afraid the arrows and circles were confusing! Most pieces don't have this level of critique; the fact this one did, meant they really liked it (: Not all pieces require a team either but I think this one is better off for all the effort that went into it.

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Aug 24, 2021

I really like your suggestion to read it out loud 5 times. I did this for all of my research papers. Reading it out loud removes the "I know what I wrote" doubt. I suggested it to my students, some did, and some didn't. 😀

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