My secrets cry aloud. With these words, Theodore Roethke began his first published collection of poems, all exploring his complicated relationship with language, his family and himself. His poems have a timeless quality that put words to our deepest and most inexpressible thoughts, addressing our unspoken fears and shame. Hailed as one of the greatest poets of all time, Roethke easily connected with his audience, not shying away from difficult topics such as depression and death. His writing is a source of strength, encouragement and advice that provided inspiration for himself and will continue to inspire readers for decades to come. My poem was fashioned after the late poet’s work, delineating the obsession we have with death — an obsession so powerful that we often forget to live. His work showed me that beauty can arise from fear, and hope from despair.
I meet her in the dark of night,
While winding winds dress her in white.
The flowers slowly disappear,
As stars craft twinkling chandeliers.
Sweet silence plays her lovely flute,
Leaves fall with light swirling salutes,
And though my body sleeps at home,
She hides me in her crystal dome.
I walk up clouds into the air,
Her beckons erase my nightmares.
With each new touch years fall away,
Death holds me in delicate sway.
I sleep the sleep of ages come,
Till hearts bleed black and lungs grow numb,
So in the sky, we dance till dawn;
Darkness sways, my pain is gone.
On her lips the kiss of death;
I smile with my dying breath.