Extra Credit


I didn’t mean to write this poem today.
I mean, I didn’t set myself the task.
I sat and tossed a 5-beat line, the way
a child kicks a can. So don’t you ask
me to defend a word, or I’ll confess
I didn’t mean it came from what the rhyme
suggested. Then I started to obsess,
and ground a sonnet out in metered time.

I couldn’t stop until 2 quatrains stood,
and then they nagged me into a sestet.
I never aimed at anything as good
as I can do, when worried and upset,
I think, but I can’t sing what I can’t start –
I’m too content and healthy for great art.

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