This is what works:
Lure your poems out of the shadows
With breadcrumbs, cooing softly
At them like some lost baby bird.
Don’t circle them wielding a knife.
Don’t try death threats
Refusing to be held hostage,
Gnawing through bars
And raking themselves over barbed wire,
Poems would rather be bloodied and broken
Than trapped down in your cellar.
Don’t try scaring them.
Don’t wave flashlights in their faces
And try to blind them
Into running into your arms –
They’ll grow new eyes
And always colder ones.
Don’t try death and resurrection.
Poems lay limp when you shove
Stakes through their hearts,
Never alive long enough to utter
Insightful dying words.
This is what I’ve learned:
Collect the wood when you find it.
Stand where the sun shines fiercest.
And if – if you can rub stones just the right way,
Then wait to see if any come out of the dark
To huddle around you for warmth.