Dear Kay

Some years ago I had the idea that every single day I’d write a poem about someone I’d seen that day. Maybe in the form of a letter. I’d wanted to do this same thing with pictures once. There was a time (I have been in my apartment for years and years and years) when we had so many people sleeping on the couch or the floor (no blow up mattresses then) and I’m sorry not to have a wall of their pictures. A You Slept Here wall. Yesterday I saw one of my favorite people ever. An 89 year old writer named Kay. We met a while ago at Manhattanville College. She took my Good Story class. We have talked on Wednesday mornings ever since. I thought about that Wall (one of the thousand things I never did) and the poem idea and thought at least I could write a poem even just one about a person.

Dear Kay,

You might not like
the dear Kay part.
You may not even know though
I hope you do how unusual
you are unusual isn’t even
the right word and unique is
even less good Dear Kay
I wish we could all
be like you and I rarely
think that about anyone
except people like Dr. King
and he wasn’t a Good Man
(although he was a Great Man)
you are a Great Woman
a Good Woman
you are unflaggingly optimistic
about Life because yours
is good and you make
everyone else’s better
you know how to listen
and not just to listen
to respond to help us think
you have so many children
and grandchildren you actually
loved your husband took care
of him never stopped reading
for one day in your life
never stopped seeing your friends
and sometimes writing
Dear Kay you have had
your problems you
did not dismiss them
you knew that life
can be good if you are
lucky and you
are lucky and we
are lucky enough
to know you.
Dear Kay.

Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.


  1. Please note that on January 20 at 10:55 a.m., I, who am so seldom at a loss for words, was struck dumb. Thank you, dear Esther. That’s all I can manage, but it is straight from the heart. With much love, Kay

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