So You Want a Poem?

You tell me you want a poem.

It’s small.

It requires no care, no feeding.

You can keep it quiet,

shut it in a drawer,

or thumb-tack it to your wall.

But wouldn’t it hurt the poem?

No.

They don’t feel pain.

They don’t yelp when you pick them up

the wrong way.

You tell me you want a poem.

A poem requires understanding.

A lack of understanding might

make it weep silently in its drawer.

It might molt,

shed its words like feathers

because it was never

understood.

December 13, 2010

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