I Stood, Trembling

behind the tall black cart and began, asking for grace as I face
yet another first: speaking before a captive audience of…
more than one.  Offering the labor of time back to a group
who welcomed me without reserve.  Why they selected a novice
writer, bestowing the gift of space and time for exploration
and devotion to my craft is beyond me.

But situated here, at a desk long since empty–now littered
with notebooks, letters, books, pictures, laptops, and most prized,
my blessed coffee–it seems, at last I do belong; I’ve moved in,
stashed suitcases away, lined the library wall with three pairs
of boots–all essential, of course–and bought a season’s pass
to xc ski at the trails groomed daily right here in town.

Before leaving, my mentor commented: “If I’d have told you
a year ago you’d be doing something like this, you’d have laughed
in my face.” Truly, in my typical self-deprecating fashion, I know I would–
and yet, here I am–

and there I was speaking in my own voice, words I composed,
in front of this generous community. Amidst the trembling, a subtle
shift began to emerge: an inkling of joy, an awareness of power–
and even, a desire to keep on speaking…