A Few Things

“Though you have known someone for more than forty years, though you have worked with them and lived with them, you do not know everything. I do not know everything—but a few things, which I will tell,” writes Mary Oliver about her partner Molly Malone Cook in her book Our World (Beacon Press, 2009), which celebrates their life and home together in Cape Cod through Oliver’s essays and Cook’s photography. Write a poem about someone you have known for a long time, but who is no longer in your life. Begin first by forming two lists: one list for the things you knew about this person and a second list of what you did not know. Select several items from each list and compose a poem that paints a portrait through the lens of your relationship. What are the things that were shared, imparted, revealed, and hidden?