I was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class admitting women. After 30+ years in Kansas City, I still miss the ocean, but love the writing community I’ve found through The Writers Place. To see my books and sample poems, please visit me at www.alariepoet.com.
Pencil in a Rare Interview
You might think I’d resent
always being No. 2, destined
to do the grunt work: rough
drafts, tax returns, guidelines
for paint. I’m kind of like
the coach of a famous opera star,
that household name who
used to squawk like a chicken.
Others take credit for all my best
ideas. Bless the writers who type
my words and pass them off
as their own!
I’m used to that. Accept it.
What you don’t see
is that being a pencil
has its own rewards. I’m needed.
Besides, I value my privacy. Paparazzi
never look my way. Why would they?
I admit I’m not much to look at –
worn down like a candle burned
from both ends. A rosy-headed monk
in a black tonsure –what does
that tell you? I make mistakes.
Message from a Messenger Pigeon
I’m not enslaved despite the fact I’m bred
For serving humans. Who is wholly free?
You’re flattered that I’ll risk my life for you
When coming home is all that counts to me.
In Pharaoh’s day, you shaped your words like birds
And those who walked and flew were more alike.
Although you build fierce, flying things that kill,
You still can’t recreate my home-bound flight.
You batter new recruits to bend their will,
But know I must be trained with tender care.
Unless you make me feel at home with you,
Someone else can earn your Croix de Guerre.
I never take an oath I don’t believe.
Your cause or theirs—it’s all the same to me.
“Pencil in a Rare Interview” was first published in I-70 Review (September 2014)
“Message from a Messenger Pigeon” was first published in I-70 Review (September 2015)
©2016 Alarie Tennille
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