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A Written Warning to Poetry This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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We’ve barely met, we’ve exchanged names,
maybe where we’re from,
but across the room I feel you
watching me, wondering.
You’ve heard I work words,
a white collar weaver,
well-mannered welder, of sorts,
though they call me writer.
You smile, because you sense what’s
inside my head, and how it’s
whining, wiggling,
how it threatens to wreck me if
I won’t set it down on the page.
You’ve seen my hands,
wanting to print so desperately
they start to scrawl,
wailing for the day when I wring out my soul,
wishing that someone would like it.
To you, I look weak, another weary,
wide-eyed girl, who calls herself
story-teller,
for you to whip and wallop until
she worships, weeping at your altar,
and you lift up her chin,
wipe her eye and tell her
There, there, you’re a poet now.
I’ve been watching you too, wild one.
You start out coy, a wink at a wanderer,
wading out to meet them,
before welcoming them into your arms.
Then, you start whispering,
What’s that? What’s that?
willing the ones who’d always answered the whys,
to do something new, to define.
You worry the weathered with your stanzas,
with your meter, with your rhyme.
With your imagery, with your metaphors,
with your witty device.
Without a doubt, you’ll have them,
waxing poetic about star-like flowers,
and flower-like stars. No way!
I won’t be wounded by you.
I don’t buy your well- meaning wheedling, you w****.
You’ve spent the night with Whitman
and Williams, Wordsworth
and Waldo Emerson, and
we won’t get started on all the women
you’ve sent waddling home.
So Poetry, I’m wise in wanting to see
a rose as a rose, and hope as a wingless thing,
but I can’t pretend there’s not something wonderful
in the way you turn words into wee little worlds,
and then offer them wholly, holy to me.
So I won’t, I won’t, I won’t wed you,
I’ll just warily let you woo me.



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