Featured

Sentenced

TANYA CLIFF

asked I
to the pencil graphite tip
that fell under my desk
rolled off the top of my bare foot
and lodged its complaint in the plush carpet under my toes
as I plucked it out
between my thumb and pointed finger
just before I flicked it into my garbage bin
like a dry crumb
“Did I press too hard?”
“Did I poke through the page?”
I hear my English professor’s stale echo:
“Writer’s should show
finesse,
subtlety
and
grace,
each word carefully chosen.”
that poison-arrow dart
broken, but still sharp,
left me a tip
before its trash landing:
charcoal smudges on my hand fit for fingerprint blotting
“Guilty!” it said. “Sentenced to life!”
the witness has formally testified
for there on the pages before me
poured out from my beating heart
my written words
bled

~

Words and Photography ©2017 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry

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