Wednesday, January 14, 2009

His Letter Arrived!

It had been so long I'd stopped watching for his letter. When it arrived I didn't know it was from him. I'd sent him a self-addressed stamped envelope but he doesn't use a return address. Economic nature like his letters, his poems and his visits. He makes small pit-stops throughout life. I am so glad he stopped for me.

He would've written sooner, he said, but he'd been 'fighting off a bout of despair' - ah! so like poets. He always told his classes he sees a psychiatrist. Poets tell all. You can't be any good if you keep secrets. We want the whole world to know about life from our point of view. I think of him mostly as a father. A father to so very many.

I first met Chris Bursk when I was a therapist at Bristol-Bensalem Human Services. We'd knocked around a bit on how and where to meet. He lives in Langhorne. My therapy agency was on the fringes of Bristol, PA. The Great Man motored down & was waiting for me at my office. When I saw him I paid little attention to him. I thought he was either a maintenance man or a patient early for therapy with his white haystack of hair and his thermal undershirt.

I was really nervous. I was on my shitload of bipolar medicine at the time and ushered him into my huge office. They didn't know what to do with me there so they gave me the conference room. I ran groups so I needed space. We sat at the round table and he had 37 poems I had mailed him. He'd marked em all up.

As things go, looking back, it was one of the greatest moments in my life. We're both in our sixties now. And here's his typewritten letter sitting on my desktop. Undated. Economy again. For the ages. When I got it, yesterday or the day before, I wrote on top: Received 1-12-09.

Where shall I put it?