I asked a bunch of poets the above question. I’ll keep posting them until I run out or get distracted.
Kevin Brophy says:
Why I Write Poetry
My mother prays for me.
Her prayers sometimes appear in my pockets
as handkerchiefs, loose change, keys.
I think I know what she’s getting at with the keys.
Sometimes it’s post-it notes with scribbled words
which could be instructions or corrections.
Sometimes on slightly larger torn-out paper scraps
there are lists of writers I should be reading.
Today it was a toy soldier with a gun.
I kept flipping it over in my hand
In my pocket. I kept bending
the end of its plastic rifle
for I knew whose heart it was aiming at.
I know where its enemy is.
I know there is not much more time left
To empty my pockets.