Last night, I couldn't sleep a wink--
reaction to your call
that she was over with the drink,
the pizza, sons, and all
her helplessness (the gall!)
has kept my spirit from its rest,
so that today, I walk the hall
and wish 'twere I who'd been your guest.
Why do I worry so, you ask.
"I've told you you're the one.
You think my protestations mask
some silly, willy-nilly fun
to keep your psyche quite undone?
I told you I love you the best;
now of your jealousy be done,
for only you shall be my guest."
(For this ballade to end up whole,
it must include another verse.
French forms--factitious--must cajole
both form and content into terse
but lucid stanzas. I immerse
my jealousy in words to wrest
catharsis from a chafing curse.
Aha! 'Tis I who've been the guest.)
For seven years this poem's lain
unfinished in my writer's chest,
but time has exorcized the pain:
you married her--SHE'S been your guest.
PL - from variations, 1994