Untitled Poem

A poet pens a poem, ponders “Probably
my most profound, near-perfect masterpiece.”
With unabashed enthusiasm our proud poet
allows some friends to read, expecting at least

high praise, if not adoration. One friend
who holds a M.F.A. and is well-schooled in poetry,
“It cannot stand upon its own feet….Your lines
obfuscate, with meaning rather obtuse to me.”

Other friends, “The meter is wrong, the rhymes
are forced, and maybe use a different style.”
With confidence shaken, doubt replacing belief,
revision is contemplated, but abandoned after a while.

Our poet wads up the poem, tossing it in the street
with disgust…A woman later picks it up, thinking
“Litterbugs!”, opens it and starts to read. Her tears
soon overflow. As she boards her bus, she is blinking

back tears. “Are you all right, dear?” a lady notices.
The poem is handed to her; she is soon sobbing. “May
I read that?”…several more join in the group crying.
Finally, “Read it aloud. All of us can hear it that way.”

The crowded bus falls quiet while the poem is read.
An awed silence is maintained long after its end.
One man softly, “That’s the most any poem has ever
touched me. In praise, I wouldn’t know how to begin.”

Harry Edward Gilleland      11.29.02