"Poem" by Matthew J. Spireng | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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"Poem" by Matthew J. Spireng



Don’t think for a moment that because
this is not prose
you won’t be able to understand it.
It’s not a poem like that,
though it follows certain poetic
conventions. Not that it doesn’t lack
for clear language. And though there’s a form
of rhyme throughout, it’s not schoolmarm
rhyme, doesn’t distract
like that can, the ear tricked
into listening for a specific sound,
the meaning lost like a voice in a wind,
overwhelmed by a force too strong.

It’s something
in which you might find
certain images as familiar as the back of your hand,
the veins
and lines
and shape of the nails.
Or your own image as it fills
the mirror. That same
face you’ve seen time after time
looking back. Your face.
Go ahead. Admire it. It’s quite nice.

Or it might spring a surprise.
There are ways
poets do that, you know. Ways poets
sneak up quietly in spots
you think you’re quite alone
and look over your shoulder at the same fine
face you see in the mirror
so clear and familiar.

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