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This Is Not A Sonnet

And being born isn’t enough. That’s wrong.

Her being born was more than enough.

It’s just someone always has to blow the world apart.

Someone has to see God in a nebula. Or their head. Someone has to run.

Retreat.  Take yourself to the woods and know the trees

don’t suck in sadness and darkness and terrible beings.

Switch yourself off there and sleep. Or run away.

Retrace your steps and find your child sleeping on the floor.

Find her words. She can speak for herself. Or will soon enough.

For now there is only how those sounds are interpreted.

Cut up by effort. The effort of connecting and making sense.

Imagine we’re in the UN. Imagine a fish swimming. Imagine an app for this.

Imagine decoding her code. And what syntax hides there?

What links are being made? Don’t let there be chains.

Or if there are chains just make them out of daisies. Don’t let there be pain.

Don’t let there be explosions. Or news reports. Retreat.

Go back the way you came. Remember the time when you had a phone.

Remember the time when you took taxis. Remember the time when you didn’t

know silences like this one. The silence of her sleep. Go back to ignorance.

Like the first time you wrote a sonnet. It was about a fox. 

Two foxes. It was about sex. It was about sex that shouldn’t be happening.

It was about a fox disappearing into trees. Into the shadows of the leisure centre.

Into the darkness. You had to look up what a sonnet was.

No one taught you this. You’re a child man. I mean you were a child then.

I mean you need to stop lying that you know what a verb is.

You can only guess at that. Let this be. Don’t run away from ignorance.

Read books to her until there are no books. Read books until

there are no words. Teach her how to write a sonnet before she can write her name.

Write sonnets until you get one write. I mean right. It will happen one night.

Just like how the fox vanished into trees. Retreated into trees. You left a line unfinished.

Not enough syllables. Too much stress. You didn’t enjoy this dissection

of language. You only ever enjoy language from a distance. Language

seen from space. Look down on language. Don’t zoom in.

There are never enough syllables when you really need syllables.

Remember that when she wakes. Remember to speak to her.

Remember that once you couldn’t even count syllables.

Remember to teach her to count. And know. And sing.

This is not a sonnet. This isn’t even a poem.



About michaeleganpoetry

Liverpool based poet and editor. I have had four pamphlets of poetry published, most recently After Stikklestad (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2010). Penned in the Margins published my first collection, Steak & Stations, in 2010.

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