The author of this poem is Natalie Russell, Assistant Curator of Literary Collections at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA. I was captivated when I heard her read it and asked to share with you. Thank you for your permission, Natalie. It’s a beautiful work.
Why I Write
because the paper listens.
because no matter what oceans of grief, and rage, and anxiety, and sorrow overflow my soul,
the paper is a sponge.
It receives my burden,
tucks it away,
and opens its arms for more.
because I worry
that human ears are too busy,
hearts too full,
souls too consumed,
to have time for my small crises.
But the paper listens.
because the paper listens
and is no worse for the wear.
I write because sometimes the paper speaks,
when the reader is ready and willing to hear.
because the paper always listens.
Why do you read?
Assistant Curator of Literary Collections