Saturday, 10 April 2021

Your party invitation just arrived

by Carolyn Martin

Calligraphed, no less. A work of art. 
Free-flowing ink. Handmade ecru.
Well-designed. Stylized. Personal.

If I replied with Sorry, out of town
or My partner needs surgery,
I’d demean myself, dishonor you.

So here’s God-honest truth: I love
close friends, but hate my dress-up clothes
and noisy social scenes where gossip

masks as pleasantry. I despise
playing up to quasi-intellects
and playing down to ignorance.

I’d rather move a word around a page
than raise a glass or pass a plate
or work a room immune to poetry.

I might be tempted to announce
Patience is a vice. A quiet mind
hears its soul. Beauty‘s felt before it’s seen.

But furrowed brows would walk away
without remark or backward glance.
I’d redeem myself by exiting.

Let me remind you I’ve become
a connoisseur of silent nights, quiet books,
and confidantes around a fire’s heat.

I’ve discovered Time’s in love with me
and she demands quick retreats
from restless chattering, abhors

one obligation more. So count me
among the shy who shun society.
My birthday gift arrives next week.

* * * * *

"Your party invitation just arrived" was previously published in Antiphon and is part of Carolyn Martin's poetry collection The Way a Woman Knows.

From associate professor of English to management trainer to retiree, Carolyn Martin is a lover of gardening and snorkeling, feral cats and backyard birds, writing and photography. Her poems have appeared in more than 125 journals and anthologies throughout North America, Australia, and the UK. Her fifth collection, The Catalog of Small Contentments will be released in 2021. Currently, she is the poetry editor of Kosmos Quarterly: journal for global transformation.