Thursday, April 17, 2008

Third person

Today's NaPoMo poem-a-day prompt from Poetic Asides is to write a poem in the third person. Although you can write about yourself and put it in third person, the exercise was to take yourself out of the poem, so I wanted myself out of the poem as much as possible. Here is my draft.

Sunday Visit

How carefully she navigates the shifting
sands of conversation that sink, without warning, drift
from one story to the next. She
asks a question, and her face smoothes
like a mask, porcelain and serene. She nods
as the answer blows through her like the April wind
and follows with another query,
even as the new leaves shiver,
the shadows of words winging
away from this sunlit afternoon. She leans
on instinct and years of good manners,
knows how to carry grace even
in such quiet calamity. The third question slips
in delicately, an innocent--the fourth,
a vase of dahlias on the table. Then the light
behind her thin curtains fades just a thumb,
the difference between one moment
and the moment after, and she reaches
for the next card in her hand,
returns to that first question, begins again.

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