Many years ago, one night, I was dreaming of fighting flames. I woke up, and there was a fire. I looked out the window, and everybody was out of the building but me and my children. The fireman’s ladder was sliding, and I reached out and placed it firmly on the building. I let my kids down, and then by the time my feet touched the ground, the flames blew the windows out.
People came out of the woodwork, from nowhere, helping us. I had people help me who didn’t know me. Even so, it made me nervous — I started writing poetry to keep from cracking up. Now, every day, I walk three or four blocks, and then find a place to write poetry. I look at people and ask what kind of poem they want, and when they tell me, I relate that, in a poem. It makes me happy.