POEM: this isn’t the first time

john-coltrane-france-651

this isn’t the first time
for John Coltrane

this isn’t the first time
I’ve tried to capture you
between the lines of a poem
as if any collection of letters
could do justice to the
staggering power of your art

this isn’t the first time
I’ve tried to describe how I felt
the first time I heard
“My Favorite Things”
and realized I’d just been shown
the door to a new universe

this isn’t the first time
I’ve wondered whether anyone
will ever burn again
with a fire as intense as yours
a fire so bright it was hard
to look upon or listen to

this isn’t the first time
I’ve wanted to say to someone
LISTEN TO THIS
CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE IT?
to watch their eyes as they
make first contact

this isn’t the first time
I’ve realized how much I owe you
how the course of my life changed
because of what you did
how you showed me a distant land
toward which I could point my little boat

17 July 2013
Auburn AL

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