Poem A Day: The Dare

“You hate poetry? Really?”

I drop my jaw, amazed.

They nod, dropping their eyes

Perhaps, just a little, in shame

As if I were a Baptist minister

Asking atheists about Easter.

.

“Come on, tell me the title of

Just one poem that has touched you

Personally, that has made

a difference in your life.”

But I might as well have suggested

They tell me God’s middle name.

.

“Sorry,” they say, “but I haven’t

Read a poem since high school.”

I say, “Tell me one of those, then.

One that has stayed with you

Over the years and affected the way

You interact with the cosmos.”

.

At that, they just look at me,

Dropping their own jaws, amazed.

Is it possible that is actually how

I see poetry, as a cosmic wonder?

Something that connects our minds

To the essential powers of the universe?

.

I smile, encouragingly, and ask again,

“Come on, just one little poem.

It doesn’t matter where you read it

Or why you like it – whatever! –

Just tell me your favorite poem.

Come on, just one.  I dare you.”

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