Take This Poem

Take this poem. No. Really

take it. It belongs to you.

Like anything you read.

It belongs. Like Hawaii’s

swaying palms, weighted

coconuts, rungs tying

the trunk of the tree. All.

Yours for free.

What did you think

your first grade teacher

was giving to you? Letters,

words, a dog with spots,

young people with first

names? Did you

think what was going

on in the first row

of the A group

was to go no further?

You now know Spot

stopped running,

Jane became Emma,

Natasha, Anna, Sophie.

Dick became Tom,

Andre, Pierre, Ishmael.

Hero of your life, Ms. Wowmist,

armed you to read,

write, to send you on, almost

prepared for life.

— Fan Ogilvie

West Tisbury

Poet Laureate 2009