The Poet’s Trick
He reels me in with hooks and tender lines,
sweet words about his many loves, not me.
Yet all his words touch something mine
that he was not aware of when he wrote.
He was thinking of his mother, wife,
or mermaid in a dream. All those other ones
who called to him and saved his life.
Mark his words, you’ll see that she is me.
And then, I leap to him and catch the thread;
tangle in his words, a thrilling rush. Then he
lights upon the page and holds me ‘til I’m red—
I blush. Is meeting him in verse adultery?
This question sneaks by quietly, without note,
for I must learn some caution in thought.
One hopes for a tidier account of things,
but then, too much goodness goes uncaught.
Whoever has been smitten understands.
Words work upon the heart as sleight of hand.
What issues from the pen, you picture true
and yet, uncertain if it speaks of him or you.