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My anonymous hour


opens with a prayer
in prose. I rise: "Hello,
I'm Sarah, and ...
I'm a poet."
Hello, Sarah.

"I had an anniversary—
six months without a line."
Applause. "But you know
how it goes—
                    I wrote a verse
about an adolescent
girl I know (her wanton
clothes). I called it "Schmatta"
and thought it might amuse
her mom and dad
but they were hurt."

Have you made amends
to those you harmed?

I explain my e-mails,
and sit down.

Others stand,
admit to gains
and losses in their fight
against the muse.

We close, schmooze a bit,
depart. The pavement's
full of gaps.

Some of us will slip.


Sarah White

Hanging Loose

101


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