To Get Out of a Poetry Reading

Once you have mommy’s attention
from your squirming
grunting
writhing
in the adjacent seat
and you have stage-whispered

Mom, I have to use the restroom!

eye her with seriousness and panic

Praying never hurts

Gleefully lead Mommy from the auditorium
away from the angst-filled breaths
away from the pacing footsteps
away from blood-spoken verbs

Casually mention the woman’s restroom
closest to your seat
is closed for cleaning

Adventure through library upstairs
and downstairs

The girl’s restroom
in children’s section
also closed
for cleaning

The librarian will ruin
everything
giving you the key to the boy’s room

In the boy’s room
take your time
since Mommy paces
all the way over there
in the hall

Breathe the silent stench
Sweet absence of talking
Refuge from riddles and rhyme
Fortress from verse

Count to two-thousand
forty-three

When at last you exit
Mommy’s pleading voice
hastening departure
drag feet

how

slow

can

you

go?

Back in the second row
the second-to-last poet
leaves the stage

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April 26, 2017 · 5:09 pm

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