(from and to Maya Angelou)


The loss of a first love is so painful

that it borders on the ludicrous.

His teeth had shone as white as promises,

but now only seem whitewashed.


The moth came to the light,

but the light ran away —

I would imagine to the church,

but only because its door is so large.


Mother said ‘take your time

to savor all its subtleties,”

underneath a stitched message that read

‘God bless this messy house.’


And though I was miserable in Soho,

the thought of someplace else frightened me.

I said still I would run away,

to be a hermit in another hovel,


But I was the product of a Hollywood upbringing

(and my own disillusionment).

I was a debutante to life at sixteen

But also – that was — to death.



Michael T. Smith is an Assistant Professor of English who teaches both writing and film courses.  He has published over 150 pieces (poetry and prose) in over 80 different journals.  He loves to travel.


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