I didn’t expect (a poem)

The February 27th prompt in The Daily Poet, by Kelli Russell Agodon and Martha Silano, is to write an anaphoric poem—i.e., a poem in which each line begins with the same word or phrase. As it turned out, Kelli Russell Agodon and Martha Silano were the featured poets at the Redmond Association of Spokenword’s featured event for February. Naturally, a writing exercise was part of the evening—and they happened to choose the February 27th prompt from The Daily Poet. I had already written a poem using the prompt while I was waiting for the reading to start (because I showed up way early, despite Google’s atrocious driving directions), but this poem I wrote during the seven-minute exercise (and the four or five minutes after) turned out better.

I didn’t expect
we’d be doing this again
I didn’t expect
it would last any longer than before
I didn’t expect
the constant silence
I didn’t expect
it would continue after you’d closed the door

I didn’t expect
the shadows to linger for so long
I didn’t expect
them to catch me by surprise
I didn’t expect
the burden to feel so heavy
I didn’t expect
the tears in my eyes

I didn’t expect
to find what I needed
I didn’t expect
there would be a way out
I didn’t expect
to find reasons for art
I didn’t expect
I’d do despite the doubt

(27 February 2015—posted February 28th)

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