Write of Ownership
I write a book and the words are all mine
Glowingly, perfectly, comfortingly mine.
Stop there and I’ve a lifetime sole possession,
An ideal model home of stunning design,
Never occupied and safe on a shelf.
Let others have at my creation and
My sense of it alters, however slightly.
Praise is patina that, for all its pleasure,
Blurs the sure sight of solitary perception.
Criticism pounds nails into smooth surfaces,
Leaving dents that won’t go away.
An editor does a a full rebuild
And, though I recognize the framework,
The resulting shape and flow seem alien.
I’m farther away now, telescope reversed
Seeing my work from afar, from above and below.
It takes a while, with some resentment, I admit,
To accept the improvements made by others.
My ownership’s become partial, to be sure,
But the structure’s more expansive, and - real?
A hermit’s hideout has grown into a habitat.
I see people peeking in the windows, wondering
What they may further find inside.
I hold my breath and wonder, too. How many
Will cross the threshold through the open door?
And, once inside, will they exit with a slam,
Leaving my imagined dwelling empty again,
Or will they linger in pleasure and contemplation
In a space we now can occupy together?