First Date

First Date

6/30/2008

Kenneth Burchfiel

 

I approach her before slinking away.

It just doesn’t feel right.

The meter she moves with, the stanzas she dresses in; who am I to be with her?

Who am I to enter her world?

But she reaches out an arm, draws me closer to the monitor, plants my fingers on the keyboard.

I shouldn’t be here, I think. It doesn’t feel right cutting a sentence

In half and ripping out the commas.

She urges me to type and I give in, banging homesick fingers on the keyboard.

No, she says—less structure.

less form. more freedom.

I resist. It’s adulterous just to think of exchanging my paragraph and indents for rhyme and rhythm. One never breaks a marriage with pro—

Oh, but she looks so slender on

that page. Sounds so

enticing

when read aloud.

So I begin a

dance with her, trying to mimic her

footsteps that seem so

natural when you read them off a page.

She calls my prose prosaic—

says rhyme scheme is the rage.

I stumble along

with fingers too bulky to mimic

the rhythmic flowing of her ways.

Yet she smiles anyway

at the progress I’ve made,

Says she’d love

to have me

dance

another day.

So began my scandalous affair

with Poetry.

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