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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—Oct 29

October 30, 2019

Susanna Lee

Dear Anton, I Borrowed Your Last Line
But, Here, I Brought It Back
Oh, No! Now It’s Wrinkled, Sorry

Every morning I go outside to fetch the newspaper from the box.
Birds are already lined up on the telephone wire between the poles,
waiting for Anton’s last line to lead them in song.

Paterson Falls is dammed; it splutters and jams;
its water piles up, an ocean ladder reaching to the moon.
The river refuses to fall, waiting for Anton’s last line to drop first.

Five-year-olds at the neighbor’s birthday party swing bats,
but their swats cannot break the piñata.
It refuses to share its sweets before Anton’s last line shows up.

The sun cannot cast a shadow
without Anton’s last line to offer its silhouette.

Everyone is drowning in tears.
Anton’s last line is missing.

Lawnmowers go to sleep, unneeded,
as grass rends itself, distraught without Anton’s last line.

The earth opens up and swallows its own dust
in fear that Anton’s last line has come to a bad end.

Arctic glaciers bob fiercely on the roiling sea,
pleading for the safe return of Anton’s last line.

The heroic printer revs up—
it shoots out one black duplicate of Anton’s last line!

Please, Anton, here, take it back,
reunite this copy of your last line with the body of your poem.

Hold tight to your poems, Red Wheelbarrow Poets, hold tight.

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