Today's poem is by Melanie McCabe


I know precisely what to do to avert disaster,
and do not do it. My friends are wary,

prudent; I can read their minds.
Their blink of alarm, the way they bite

their lips, gaze down into the setting
moons of their fingernails are signs

they do not intend to give, and yet,
I see everything. It saddens me

to peer into the shadows of the wrong
road, and to take it anyway. On the insides

of my eyelids, I write screenplays to scare
myself, and come to no good in all of them.

I err on tiptoe. I file extensions. No one
finds me because I hide behind my own door;

I finger the numbers of my cell phone,
but rarely call. My silences spool out

like dropped thread. Of course, flight
occurs to me, but I live within walls.

I am the seat at the table borrowed
from another table. I was not invited.

Still, I know what etiquette calls for.
I can hear reason, dictating, in a nearby room.

I can hear the pencil scratching over paper,
taking every word of it down.

Copyright © 2014 Melanie McCabe All rights reserved
from Southern Poetry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily!

Home   Web Weekly Features  Archives   About Verse Daily   FAQs   Submit to Verse Daily   Follow Verse Daily on Twitter

Copyright © 2002-2014 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved