What This Poem Will Do

by Mignon Ariel King
The Waters
Highly Commended, May 2010
Judged by Fiona Sampson


This poem was written for you, but it is
not yours. This poem has a brain,
so it left you. This poem has quite
a memory, and it will never, ever
forget why it left. This is a poem
that will change, crawl down into
your collar, slither down your chest,
flatten its way under your waistband,
and wait. Some day, while you are
making love to someone–the type
who easily forgets–you will feel
this poem like a vice, have to take it
like a man. This poem will then
politely remind you it is no longer
for you at all, as it was never yours.
This poem will not be mis-taken.
Where will you be when you know it?


Wry and deft, this poem is all in the pacing, as it pivots on enjambments and qualifying clauses. --Fiona Sampson

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