Is This One?

by Judith Meyerowitz

How does it start?
An overheard conversation, an image, a question, a howl?
How do we capture it? How do we paper train it?

To rhyme?
One two, buckle my shoe
A line thin or wide
O for osmosis.
Sestinas for math majors

Does blank verse need words
Does punctuation save lives?

We sit in a Greenwich Village apartment, close by the spirits of Cedar Tavern.
Masks on the walls and spirit visions.
Do they watch over us or mock us
as we ponder who is Antinous and how do you say Bluet?

A congenial group draped on couch and easy chairs. A frieze. We are one with the classics.

But should we be in nature, sitting around a fire?
Glowing embers, sparks like Frost’s fireflies,
spirits in a jar.

We are well educated and intended
But can we find the incantation:
“More s’mores and pass the metaphors please”

Do we write the poem or does it write us?
If we wait, will it come?
What makes it a poem?
When does it stop being a poem?

And if you can’t understand it,
Is it no longer one?

Judith Meyerowitz has published both poetry and prose in Voices. She began to write poetry after participating in LP2 groups.