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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Poem for the day


 I met a poem once whose line breaks shocked me.
 I wondered about a cure for either the line or my shock.

 My mother was shocked and dismayed by my behavior.
 I can't remember what I did, only her voice, the mute

 lowering of her head, the side to side movement done
 in yoga; exhale to the side, inhale back to center.

 Years ago it was called a nervous breakdown -
 nerves like thin pipes of glass breaking into pieces

 during times when other things might be breaking
 apart like the plans we had made for our lives

or the trust we misplaced somewhere somewhere
like in another person's chest pocket next to a row of pens.

Why go there when I can sit at the feet of poets whose
line breaks are works of art within a work of art?

Eight miles high - how to come down from such a height
without breaking something even if it's just the fall?

I wonder now if some poets begin at the line break
and work back to the beginning of the line, maybe

begin at the end of the poem in its entirety, with that
broken down gas guzzler of an ending that comes

from the junkyard after test drives of the hybrid
and the crossover and the smart car.  Horse power,

a car whose power is the one thing that can pass
what's stalled on the road ahead.

Mary L. Barnard

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