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Brothers in Arms

 

Writers are the most natural of allies.
We inhabit the same landscape.
The three a.m. grope for the right word.

We try not to wake anyone.
We stare at a comma. Just stare.
We wrestle with line breaks.

We start again.
Our drafts sit in piles.
Semi-colons mystify us all.

We find fascination in minuscule detail.
The girl’s hair down, or should it be a braid.
The navy shoes or the pale blue.

Was it raining or threatening rain.
Did she say the word goodbye or whisper it after.
Was the door left ajar on purpose.

We know there is a perfect title. A perfect modifier.
If only we can find it,
Tease it out gingerly.

Recognition is hard won.
What do poets do, they ask, mystified.
I’d write too if I had the time.

We creep into bed in the wee hours
Still wrestling with the last line.
Wondering if we came even close.

But if we get it right
We dare to join the pantheon of immortals
Before us,
Who persisted in that same dim light for the one word
Just out of reach.

Writer and Poet

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Tricia McCallum profile

Tricia McCallum

Always be a poet. Even in prose.
Charles Baudelaire.

In essence I am a storyteller who writes poems. Put simply, I write the poems I want to read.[…]

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