I once said fuck but youth is beautiful.
I lamented my first wrinkles then —
I had cancer, I was tired, I felt set apart from the mean —
and everyone was beautiful who didn't look like they looked at death.
I wanted not to look at death.
Youth has become less sexy now, though:
it is too gormless.
It doesn't have all its fingerprints yet.
It hasn't been pulled and cut and touched into a message yet.
It isn't a message yet.
Youth is a new pencil,
not the older one with the teeth marks
and the carvings and the worn eraser to show something's been done,
not the one I keep because it tells me
the story of the previous year.
Age defies consumption,
preferring to germinate
inside where I am soft.
I am taken with the idea of poetry written in response to other pieces of writing, which is why I wrote this poem in response to another one of mine from over five years ago.
I'd love it if you'd join in with me and write your own response poem to whatever piece of writing gets your creativity moving.
If you write your own, link to it in the comments and tell us what piece of writing you are responding to. Also, if you're so inclined, link to it on Twitter with the hashtag #PoemCall.
Now it's your turn!