Sunday, February 12, 2006


Yesterday in the mail, I received a plain, white printed postcard with a small red heart. I had forgotten. I am among over 1,200 women who receive a Valentine from Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate. The poem is deceptively simple, but really it is like all his poems, a perfect watercolor. Sad and hopeful.

Oh, Mariachi Me

All my life I have wanted nothing so much
as the love of women. For then I have fashioned
the myth of myself, the singing troubador
with the flashing eyes. Always for them
my black sombrero with its swinging tassels,
this vest embroidered with hearts, these trousers
with silver studs down the seams. Oh, I am
Mariachi me, as I had intended. I am success
and the price of success, now old and dusty
at the edge of the dance floor, still smiling,
heavy with hope, clutching my dead guitar.

Ted Kooser, Valentine's Day 2006

He inspires me. Now if only I could get up at 4:00 each morning, write for two hours, then go to work.

More on Kooser . . .


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