"When I Became the Poem"

I began as paper and will end as paper.
In the yard, a Barbie bike helmet
fills with snow.

Not enough time for metaphors.
Sweetgum, gumball, stickerball.
The sun uncovers a stew of acorn bits.
Springtime I’ll mow
the saplings.
My job is to turn off the lights,
to learn the names of things.
The body holds a thousand keys.
Each night I hear their slow unlocking.
I become the poem
when I put down the pen.


About the author

Jim Zola has worked in a warehouse, as a security guard, in a bookstore, as a teacher for deaf children, as a toy designer for Fisher Price, and currently as a children's librarian. Published in many journals through the years, his publications include a chapbook – The One Hundred Bones of Weather (Blue Pitcher Press) – and a full length poetry collection – What Glorious Possibilities (Aldrich Press). He currently lives in Greensboro, NC.

Jim Zola