How To Read A Poem, If You Please, And Thank You

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Rules would be ridiculous
So there are none
But there are crumbs
Leave them, please
For the next connoisseur
Of words
Traveller rambling line by crooked line
Wanderer down the poetic way
She’ll
Turn the page and walk this way
Past lines, and rhymes and such
Into the labyrinth, around each
Turn of phrase.

Tempting it would be
To stumble on a word you love
Place it to your lips
Smell and see
How it tastes, all salt and peppered up
Rolling round your
Pink and bumpy tongue
Sliding up against
Your wet red gums
Salivating now are you
Tempted by words of poetry
Imagine now
And
Chew on a hearty simile or metaphor
Worry not, they’re gluten free
But stay away from rhyme
They’re high in calories.

But resist the urge to take the words

Leave them there
Wrapped
In love
Placed  by design
For those who come
After us
Signposts, mini compasses
We left our words
A banquet for the generations
The next one and the next one after that
Napkin in your lap
Not necessary, inhale the poems
Laying there
Rules would be dumb
So there are none

Relax and breathe
You have all you need
To ingest
Each conceit
Metaphorically I speak

Oh but won’t you be courteous
Please
And be gentle with the poetry
Whittled by the hands of writers
Verse by fragile verse
Poured from dripping sweat and blood
Literally I speak

Turn around and go back home
Following the trail, the way you came
But
Go back through a second time
You missed a lot on that first pass
And please tell others that they are
There
Waiting
Patiently in the dark and lonely woods

If a poem speaks
In the forest dark and deep
With no one there to hear
Don’t interrupt
That would be quite rude

It is alright with both
The poet
And the poem
If no one’s there to hear
This has happened at least once
Or twice before
But, a
Thank you would be nice

There are no rules
Just manners
Crumbs
And meaning hidden nicely there
Within
And this is how you read a poem
If you please, and thank you.

++++++++++

Joining the creative folks over at Tweetspeak Poetry with this poem inspired by the prompt #howtoreadapoem. Celebrating the release of Tania Runyan’s new book “How To Read A Poem” published by TSPoetry Press.

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