Set it aside, regret, heal. Grieve
till the soil’s ebony heart  
devours your secrets. Believe,
in agony, what falls apart,
disintegrates at your feet. Art
rends your flesh: nervous I transmit
false signals, flinch when I should start,
weep when I should wave, counterfeit
my life’s lessons. Mosquitoes flit
through the unscreened window. Do I
ever claim this life as misfit,
as hopeful dupe? Watch the man lie
and conspire. Swat at the bugs. Lift
the mottled spade. Accept this shift.

* * *

“Flinch” first appeared  in Grand Little Things, a publication that “embraces versification, lyricism, and formal poetry,” in July 2020.

Thank you, editor Patrick Key, for taking this piece.

2 thoughts on “Flinch

  1. Oh my. No one has commented on this one that I’ve come upon days later as try to catch up. That’s a magnificent poem, and I can see why a publication that looks to lyricism took it. I haven’t analyzed why the sound works so well, though alliteration and even nearly near-rhyme seem to occur and a thread of line beats is there — but who needs to take apart the structure to feel its effect.

    Just calling a spade a spade here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Frank. I think the sonnet form worked particularly well for this piece. The rhyme scheme, even though masked by enjambment, combined with the restrictive syllable count per line, served to enhance the poem. It’s fairly dense, yet flows. I hope…

      Liked by 1 person

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