Every professional writer knows that while ideas are exciting, drafting is work. Which is to say, I had planned to finish the entire draft of this poem yesterday, but the childish creative side dragged its feet. (Frankly, it got panicky and began avoiding the issue.) Fortunately, my more adult editorial side has learned some tricks over the years, like saying, “Okay, you don’t have to get it all done at once. Let’s just get a few lines put together and sleep on them. We can finish those in the car on the way to work tomorrow.”
So I’m at the office now, and here’s the draft first stanza from the sonnet I promised John Cochrane for his wife. (See www.lestersmith.com/poetry for a history.)
The kids have left us. All the rooms upstairs
are empty of their noise. All that remains
are boxes in the attic—clothes, toy trains,
some picture books and dolls, old teddy bears.