Poetry Workshop (Mary had a little lamb)
“How could she?” someone said, “have a lamb?”
Another added, “She must have been scammed.”
“Her lover was a beast,” one shouted out, “a horrible man.”
“Mary,” an older man said. “That's very virginal isn't it?
Hmmm, I'm not so sure that it really fits.
Perhaps the speaker has a lack of wit.”
A rivulet rolled down the writer's brow and past her eye
She thumped her pencil erratically on her thigh.
Oh my, oh my, oh my, she thought, oh my, oh my.
She exhaled a miserable soul reducing sigh.
“Why Mary? It's so cliché,” a studious woman said, “and so very dull.”
“Why not Sandy?” the older man added. “Or Cindy or Paul?”
“Or Larry?” a young girl said, “alliteration always works best of all.”
“I'd drop little, and replace it with miniscule,” said the hip-hop guy.
“It indicates a lack of worth, a state of mind.”
“And as a rule miniscule's a wonderful participle,” a girl with black nails replied.
The writer scribbled as fast as her hand would enable.
If only, she thought, I was clever and a little more able.
Someone shouted something about it containing child abuse and labels.
The writer wished she was back at work, waitressing tables.
“Little is dull, unless you mean the young sheep's state,
one of no self-worth, perhaps some undue hate,
then of course,” the studious woman said, “I'd consider it quite great.”
The black nailed girl said, “I'd suggest adding a red wheel barrow.
It's so full of symbolism and innuendo.
It hits you in the spine and through the marrow.”
“Brilliant!” said the leader, who stood outside the ring.
“Thank you for coming it's been a marvelous evening,
help yourself to coffee, and punch, and bread pudding.”
The writer, slumped in her seat, her elbows above her shins,
her stomach tossing and her thumb holding up her chin,
stared hard at her poem, shook her head and cringed—
That night in her apartment, she tossed the poem in the bin.