The poetry below was written by a client, Rynn Williams, who recently passed away. Since joining Writer’s Relief in 2003, Rynn published over 100 of her wonderful poems. We feel so lucky to have been able to work with her, and we share some of her poems (with the permission of her estate) here.
Now I feel safe: I’ve got my cardigan back again.
I’m leaning against a bank of warm dryers,
holding the golden cloth to my cheek.
I’m not biting the mother-of-pearl buttons,
although I know what they would taste like:
cool shell, uneven along the bottom,
the true dark pinks and sea greens showing.
There is nothing like walking down 9th Avenue
with that bundle. The hole on the right cuff
still there, and the fraying inseam.
I am impenetrable.
This is the card the Homecoming Queen
kept close to her bodice: Keats was right.
There is a kind of loveliness that’s more about truth
than individual ornament—like a spray
of ficus leaves, shining countenances alive in the sunlight.
Every night we dreamed of The Cyclone.
Siren blues, reds of surrender.
Up from the subway, cotton candy sea-light
spun around us, Tilt-a-Whirl,
until we were sticky, captured like flies.
We’ve all heard the numbers: how the average teenage boy thinks of sex
five hundred times an hour. For teen girls it’s food—every little nuance
of their lunches, their dinners, how they had a poached egg when they really wanted pancakes, or had pancakes when they really wanted toast. It’s amazing
when you think of it, all the boys walking around looking at hot dogs,
skyscrapers, rolling pins and thinking: sex. And the girls looking at rolling pins
and thinking: pie dough, and hot dogs and thinking: lunchtime,
and skyscrapers and thinking: five-star restaurants.
Even my bathroom is papered in maps.
Medieval Paris along the far wall,
the Lone Star State curling, yellowed
from the ceiling, Steinberg’s Manhattan
behind the door. You can stand in the shower
with the weight of your life, and travel
the northward surge of the Nile
as it moves toward Khartoum, Luxor, Cairo.
I love you, mom.
We miss your mom and her fine work.