Why I Stopped Carrying a Notebbook
I saw so many beautiful things,
and I wrote down none of them.
Not the lone bear cropping
grass along the inlet’s edge,
not the mist erasing the trees
on the far side of the glass-flat lake,
not the cedars pulling the sunset down
the hillside with their netted branches.
I saw all the beautiful things and I stored them
in the front pocket of my mind
to be doled out when the sun beats down unceasing,
and the mosquitos gather to hum their ache-song.
Then I can be the bear,
grass rough on my tongue;
I can submerge beneath
the lake’s still surface;
I can sit in the shade of each
of the trees in turn, one by one by one.
Frances Klein is a poet and teacher writing at the intersection of disability and gender. She was born and raised in Southeast Alaska, and now lives in Indianapolis with her husband and son. She has been published in So it Goes: The Literary Journal of the Vonnegut Memorial Library and Tupelo Press, among others. Klein currently serves as assistant editor of Southern Humanities Review. Readers can find more of her work at