Friday, 22 November 2019


To the Boy in My Poetry Class: I’m Writing This for You

by Gracie Phillips


You made me promise to write a short poem just for you
and here it is, limited in its beauty,
because even though I have so many things to say,
I keep myself in check,
tongue in cheek as I grin and silently hope you aren’t pissed
when I let you read this
if I let you read this –
something tells me it will be more fun to dangle this out of your reach,
and let you wonder what I say when I write about you.
I assure you,
there’s a longer draft of this poem lost to time,
a novel’s worth of words I wanted to say but didn’t,
because I swore I’d keep this short.
I keep this poem short like my temper,
when a boy from my poetry class tells me
he didn’t like my poem not for content,
but because it was too long for him to read.
Let me tell you something,
I write long poems because I have so goddamn much to say.
I don’t need you to read it,
I certainly don’t need you to listen.
My poems are long and lilting, they can’t fit down narrow-minded roads.
So even though there’s more I’d like to say,
And lots more I’d like to say to you,
I keep this short, limited, passive, because
I promised the boy in my poetry class
I’d write this one for him.


* * * * *

Gracie Phillips is an emerging poet from Indiana. She has been published in Belle Ombre. She works as the editor-in-chief for her college’s student newspaper as well as the college’s literary magazine, Kennings


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