That One Night

one night, steven humphreys, prose, poems, poetry, author, writer

In school

I read Poe

I read Thoreau

I read Hemingway

in the library

I even brought them

home with me

and kept cracking them open

and, I wondered, why couldn’t I be like them?

that One night

when I was young

I got inspiration

It came to me in a swift spirit

filling my body

carrying me away

where it willed

moving my fingers on the typewriter

which sat on top my tiny student desk

in the corner of my room

I typed and typed

and my ribbon nearly wore out

but, it lasted

all night long

until the morning sun

fifty poems in all

were done

maybe, more

I was fifteen, then

Instead of choosing to go out with my fair weather friends the night before

I chose to write poetry

they would’ve never understood

it’s something I knew better not to reveal

you know how teens can be

making fun and all that

that one night

never left my heart

it was like a fire which still was smoldering somewhere

I could smell the smoke

feel the heat

but couldn’t locate where that fire had gone

I always felt disturbed

like there was a part of me


something was not quite right

for a long time

Until, I rediscovered it

because I learned to listen to myself

once again

 like I did as a child

I began to believe what things I said to myself

more than the outside voices of those naysayers

who like to tell you that you

can’t do something

I think these guys really get off on that

power of influence they think they have over you

because they live their lives so small

Nevertheless, It popped its head up again

it was that certain something

that had magical feeling

that made me write

because it dawned on me

that it was my job

to do so

it was my little lost creature

inch by inch

that grew again


then, I finally recognized it

when it got big enough for me to see it clearly

it laid

deep, almost motionless

essentially forgotten

and I saw it

yet, years didn’t snuff it completely out

all the time something slowly burned

at low heat

almost without my awareness

all this stuff welling up

that would’ve been written

but wasn’t until recently

I found out many years later

that it never had forsaken me

I had betrayed it

through not believing in my own voice

that one night never left me

It was always mine to keep

and, new nights and days to come

as many as I want

for as long as I live

to take my time and tell the world what I think

should be said

It’s just that

the veil of time

hid my inner voice

from my own ears

so when you and I part

I will have left a piece of me


so something of me will live on

in you

as a thought

a feeling

a realization

that you ponder


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