Poet’s Spotlight

Editor’s Note: Maine Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum lives in Deer Isle. The former director of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts is the author of four collections of poems and a collection of essays.


“Prayer for Joy”

By Stuart Kestenbaum


What was it we wanted

to say anyhow, like today

when there were all the letters

in my alphabet soup and suddenly

the ‘j’ rises to the surface.

The ‘j,’ a letter that might be

great for Scrabble, but not really

used for much else, unless

we need to jump for joy,

and then all of a sudden

it’s there and ready to

help us soar and to open up

our hearts at the same time,

this simple line with a curved bottom,

an upside down cane that helps

us walk in a new way into this

forest of language, where all the letters

are beginning to speak,

finding each other in just

the right combination

to be understood.

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