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.

But if you push me down on one side I'm going to rise up on the other side like leavened bread.

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.