I’m a stickler about thank-you notes, a real pain to my children after birthdays and Christmas, and self-righteous and judgey when my own presents aren’t acknowledged. And yet, as with other deep and firmly-held beliefs, I can be a hypocrite about applying the rules to myself. Which is all to confess that I haven’t sent a proper thank-you note for a very thoughtful gift I got from two friends, a gift apropos of nothing, a few months back.
Down in the French Quarter of New Orleans, my friends came upon a Poet for Hire. Give her a subject, a few minutes and twenty bucks and she’ll hand you a poem on parchment paper in green ink. Here’s the poet, a recent New Orleans transplant named Shannon, at work:
This is Shannon when she’s finished:
And here’s Shannon’s creation, the present I mentioned, an ode to Poem Elf:
(Apologies to the poet for messing with her poem by covering up my name at the end.)
I’m not going to analyze such a sweet gift, but I do want to mention two things:
1. The opening line
You seek your secret pleasure
could belong to anyone, but I’m glad that in this case it refers to leaving poems for strangers and not to sniffing men’s socks or to ursusagalmatophilia.
2. Speaking of strange desires, Shannon has revealed my Poem Elf fantasy without ever having met me. She instructs the person who finds her poem
Keep it in your pocket until you return
home–you unfold it slowly
as to not break it.
Place it in the frame
I hate to quibble with a gal who’s paying the rent by writing poetry, but I do have a correction. The only person framing this poem will be me. I won’t part with it.
Thank you, Kelly and Michelle! I adore this present!