Poems Don't Always Do What We Tell Them

by Priscilla Frake

The poem was too eager
to be wise, too quick
to judge, too caught up
in a careless turn after eight

glib lines. I told it to breathe
and opened a window, so it
could see beyond the walls
of its own quatrains.

I honestly thought it had listened,
but then I caught it posing
with a beret and taking selfies.
I had to strike it through again. And again

it changed its lines. So why
do I find it now on an opened page,
waving its handkerchief to the room,
as if to cheering crowds?

Priscilla Frake is the author of Correspondence, a book of epistolary poems. She has work in Verse Daily, Nimrod, The Midwest Quarterly, Medical Literary Messenger, Carbon Culture Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and The New Welsh Review, among others. Anthology publications include Weaving the Terrain:100 Word Southwestern Poems, Enchantment of the Ordinary, and Women. Period. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she is a studio jeweler.