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Letter to Stevie Smith

by Lainey Wardlow

On a day like today, Stevie,
I would have loved to sit with you
At your tiny breakfast table,
Sip tea, and look out on a thick,
October sky.

Is your soul as turbulent
And confused as mine?
The question would pour from my cup,
And you, with your sweet, paper face
Would sip it in and not be sick.

On a day like today, sweet Stevie,
I would have loved to run my brush
Through your little strands of hair
And hear you recite your mind into the air.
I would sip it in, and not be sick.




Lainey Wardlow wrote this poem on a day when she was feeling particularly alone and depressed. She had just finished reading Stevie Smith’s, “Not Waving But Drowning,” and felt connected to her poetry more than the people in her own life. To shed her inertia, she wrote a poem addressing Stevie Smith and explaining her feelings to her.