The Rivalry

My poetry professor decided that, as a special treat, we would all get to write a form poem. And the form he picked for us? A sonnet. In my heart of hearts I still haven’t forgiven him. Upon my submission he rather smugly told me that my poem was not really a sonnet, due to the technical complications of iambic pentameter. But I say any sonnet that does not rhyme ‘life’ and ‘strife’ is a success.


“Observe,” she said, and broke his bowl in two.
Smoke curled upward, outward, finding air
to fight, lazily feeling out for who
had set it free.  She pointed there and there,
her crooked, yellow teeth baring themselves. 

In the remains was crouched a tiny star
reaching, terrified, for high-off shelves
and covering with one hand the pot-shard mar
on its left cheek.  It cowered in claydirt
and burnt his hand and wailed when it was touched. 

By hour’s end it had dwindled to a hurt
upon the table; her smile had proved too much.
He tried for years to do what she had done,
but she had always been the clever one.

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