Essay: Dear Anyone

Jul 6, 2018

A recent widow is sorting through her late husband’s things and giving some away.  A book of poems comes to me called, appropriately enough, “Dear Anyone.”  It was written by William Keens, a poet I’ve never heard of.

The timing is good, however, because I feel kind of lost today and poetry is often a nourishing companion at such times.  So, I page through William Keens’ book—which is beautifully printed on handmade paper—and pick out this poem:

“I take the dog out,” he writes.  “It is 4 a.m.
A plain expanse of stars pours down overhead…
I can see moonlight and the earth’s light surface
and want not to be bound by these.”

I stop reading and nod my head; this stranger is speaking for me.  He continues:

“I raise my arms and drift, thinking,
This is bigger.  This is house for a spirit…
Below me, a dog and a man.  The man
looks up and waves.”

I close the book and feel my sadness lift.  A book that came to me by chance turns out to be exactly what I need.  Which makes me believe what I say I believe:  that everything is connected. 

And this comforts me in ways I cannot explain.  Dear Anyone, thank you.