Poetic Exercise (Metapoem #3)

I grapple with this thing that I have wrought;
Why is there such a gap
Between my words and thought?
I look at the page, full of wordy rabble—
Rouge syllables that fight me at each line.
Sense has done quite poorly in the struggle;
Sound has pinned it down upon the gravel.
I picture a stern judge, at a final test,
Banging down his gavel,
Declaring my work a mess.
No respite from unruly thoughts—
My mind is turning to a pulp
From wrestling with my inner ogre,
Whose small mind worries at each word,
Never satisfied. Why can’t I
Trap my meaning? I confess
I’m troubled by this failure on my part.
Still, sometimes there’s no shame in losing
As Jacob found, grappling with a stranger.
Just when his hip snapped out of joint,
He had a moment of jagged clarity,
Finally saw what he was wrestling,
Learned why it was worth the struggle.


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