Frances Klein

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

About the Artist