What Do I Write? (A Prayer For My Book)

What do I write,

Specifically now?

What do I write?

It’s important,


“Would you classify me as “literary”?”

“No, your work is commercial,

And that’s good.”

You have the potential to sell more books

Than a literary writer would.


But I don’t write to sell books,

Or even to make bread.

I write books in the hope they’ll be read.


I write to say something;

And, if nothing comes, I stay quiet.

You may not understand what I write,

But I stand by it.


When the years have stretched

Impossibly out

Into the unknown future,

Let there remain no doubt

That I took the talent given to me

And wrote about a man

Who loved to sail the sea.

I showed people who never knew him

That fame

Isn’t about the world knowing your name.

It’s about cherishing your family.


I wrote about the shackles

That rest on my legs

And make painful my nights

And, sometimes,

Wreck my days

Before they begin.


I wrote about my eyes,

And how little they see.

And about the looks I get,

The stares I get,

When I’m out to eat,

And how little

The people who look and stare–

How little they see

Of the real me.


I wrote about hardship I know well

Because others should know it,

And of it  I’m here to tell.


If you don’t know how to take my prose,

How to react to the literature

That out of a life’s experience arose,

That is okay.

Your confusion does not bring me dismay.

What would?

If no one read the pages I grayed.

I can’t tell you

If it’ll change your life,

Or if you’ll hate it.

But the whole of what I wrote

Prays you won’t forsake it.









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