WHAT I SAID:
Dear Ms. Ryan,
You gave me what will be one of the most enduring gifts of my adult life. Through your work, I discovered poetry.
Your poems set something ticking within me, leave me laughing or pleasantly unsettled or staring more deeply into a question and occasionally in tears; they move me when I most need to be moved. They unlock me.
Thank you for your persistence, for all of your unnamed attempts and the results. Thank you for your work.
WHAT I AM NATURALLY INCLINED TO SAY:
Oh my god! You’re a real person! You are soooo important to me and make me cry, your poems are so good! I want to see how your brain works! Can you teach me poetry? How do you write your poems? You and my mom were born in the same year in the same part of California! I told my mom that, and I think she felt bad that she didn’t become a poet, too. Life is weird! Let me know when we can meet for coffee and some poems! You’re so neat!
zoinks! whoosh, pfft!