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Flirting with Poetry by Ron Koertge


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Flirting with Poetry

Imagine you are flying cross-country
and beside you in 4E is a beautiful
poem. You sneak a Certs, wish you’d
worn your best sweater and finally
suggest an in-flight beverage.

Soon the tiny stars of reading lights
go out, so you can lean closer, pour the last
of the wine and ask what the poem
does for a living.

Effortlessly it sings into your flushed ear
a song you want to hear over and over,
especially through the long heron-glide
to touchdown and the yelp of huge tires.

Waiting in the glare of the terminal
surrounded by your big dumb bags,
you dread the ride home: there’s bound
to be a chase, gun shots, a fire.

Silently, you vow to change even as
Prose pulls up in its booming red car
and at the top of its lungs orders you
to keep turning the heavy pages of your life.

—Ron Koertge

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