Two Poems


is not a steel cage, not iron bars, not
rigid rules and clear-cut schemes.  Even math can
shift to another base, geometry ditch
Euclid.  Learn patterns of sonnets, only to find
one that slants or skips the rhyme, regroups the lines.
Nothing defies the possibility of
reinvention.  Imagination
serves far better.  Dye fading theorems
bright as watermelon, variegated as
its rind: networks, to spring off of, fall back on. 
Lines that save may be thrown by off-beat measures.
But if you crave certain calculations,
there is always a blue-green tomorrow
waiting inside the fat pinks of chance.

A Few Days Later

You meet down the hall, not near your office,
nor his. He looks to walk the other way. 
You slow down.  He sees no escape, sighs, asks
you okay?  then talks of Troilus and Cressida:
A wonderful performance last night.  You keep
your arms straight at your sides.  Say nothing.
Beautiful.  A powerful anti-war piece. 
Haven’t read it since college.  Maybe never
listened then.  In clasped hands, he jingles a few
coins, angles toward the vending machines.  Hmmm
Chaucer’s English just doesn’t translate now,
and you were not acting last week with him.

In a romance, you’d stop, smile, embrace: live.
In a tragedy you’d die.  Here you slant slant rhyme. 

—Margaret Rozga, Waukesha, WI