Be a Poet, I Dare You

Sometimes it seems like a challenge—
Other days a threat, or a warning.
Maybe simple honesty stings unknowingly
like a threatened scorpion
Subtext: you’re no Sanchez, Lorde, Clifton, Cisneros.
You barely belong in this class.
No.  “You’ll never get in.  You’re a middle aged white woman,”
my mentor said.

Was that a dare you laid at my feet and told me not to cross?
Were you even aware of the shrine I built for your work upon
my own heart?  I gathered these droppings I laid
packaged them neatly to see if their spindly legs would hold
on plain white paper.  With my life story and letters
from people who have no clue, I risked it all
and didn’t get in—to the one who lets everyone in
even old white women.

Still, there is always a bud of hope
blooming under those pages in the trash.
A hope that one day you will read a piece and
it will mean something–
enough to get taped on the wall.

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