There’s a moral here…
The magic doesn’t go away.
I keep dreaming
Telling stories,
Memory and imagination combine
To the illusion of aliveness.
Except this isn’t real.
Here is the story-truth
I loved her
She died
It didn’t seem real.
Not then, not ever.
But in a story,
I can steal her soul
I can revive her life
I made it happen.
What’s the moral here?
Stories can save us.
The magic of stories,
Partly willpower, partly faith,
Are for eternity.
In a story, I can make myself feel again
When there is nothing
Except the story.

I wrote this poem four years ago, but it is still my favorite of all the poems I’ve written. It is a found poem, which means each line is taken from an already published work and used to compose an original piece. In constructing this poem, I used random phrases from The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.
Found poetry can be a good way to begin creating; it tunes your ear, forcing you to hear differently. Some find it more difficult to piece together words that are not their own, but I find it soothing. It’s a reminder to myself of what I am capable of, even when not able to form the words myself.

My poetry writing process began like this: I searched for hours through O’Brien’s novel for phrases I thought were profound, and I filled several notebook pages with descriptions and details. Then I began matching up phrases that shared a common emotion. About halfway through, I became more intentional, and some of my favorite phrases were sacrificed for the good of the poem. My poem evolved as I pieced the lines together; I didn’t even see the story I was creating until it was almost completed.

I am not certain why this poem has stuck with me—all I know is it makes me feel. It’s an innate feeling of humanness and memory. It reminds me of what I have and what I’ve lost: the moments that will never exist again without a story making them true.

“They carried all they could bear… including a silent awe for the terrible power of the things they carried” ~ Time O’Brien