Like Magic by Nancy Cherry08 Dec 2017, Posted by Poetry in
If I want to write a villanelle, I will.
Even though its formal structure interrupts itself to interject a rhyme.
It’s like a practiced magic trick—you’ll need a hat, a rabbit, a little goodwill.
And if I want to spill my secrets in a poem, I will.
Do you mind my breaking all the rules? Poets do it all the time.
Then I will write this villanelle—I will.
You know I love to stand up in the light, twirl my mustache—whatever fits the bill.
But it’s the cape I love the most. If I never had to tell the truth,
I’d wear it all the time.
Here—take the hat, take the rabbit—they won’t reveal a shill.
Oh, you think I’m bragging now or working up to an excuse—still
words are spilling through my mind.
I’ll shape the air and write the villanelle—I will!
I’ll start composing shortly behind this bit of mist. Though chill,
it covers any indiscretions, even if they’re mine.
Now the trick is inside out—I’m in the hat, the rabbit’s out—
he holds my ink and quill.
He says he’ll write the villanelle, but I don’t think he will.
While I take time to understand the paradigm,
the poem is writing me with quiet skill.
It’s better than a magic trick. Without a hat or rabbit—
it conjures up a thrill.
About the author:
Nancy Cherry‘s writing has been included in Comstock, Calyx, Raven Chronicles, Cream City, Nimrod, Spillway, the Seattle Review and the anthology, The Place That Inhabits Us. Her first collection, El Verano Burning, was published by Radiolarian Press in June 2014. She currently lives 57 miles west of Point Reyes Station.