William Sheldon





We Said We Didn’t Like Her Dashes

                                                                   with apologies to E.D


The night that she arrived,

it was a common night

except her writing, which to us

made workshop different.

We started with the smallest things

she’d maybe overlooked before;

the dashes weighed upon our minds;

italicized they were.

Yes, we went out and in

among her troubling lines

and mentioned several times

the oddness of her rhymes

that often nearly hit

though often didn’t quite.

Still, jealousy for her arose

so nearly infinite.

We talked whiel she watched—

it was a narrow time—

about rhyme she could tweak.

At length, the class bell rang.

She giggled shyly, rising

white, bending like a reed,

saying she’d “keep her barefoot rank.”

She smiled, then she left.

And we—we though it rare

how we felt bereft.

And then what awful leisure was

our poems to regulate.