Sy Roth


Write Me a Poem

Write me a poem, he insisted.
But a poem would not do him justice.
Too narrow a fellow, lost easily in the grass of words.
Needed instead were large swatches of cloth,
Christo drapes across the Rio Grande, easily drifting in the wind,
orange organza and yards of tulle
draped about Greek statues and Roman columns.

Words like slivers of wood under fingernails are too weak,
too painful to rescue memories and feelings.
Needed are an army of Japanese painters’ broad strokes
with hake brushes sweeping delicately in ink,
black on white, in simple swirls of intricate intent
a message borne from the side of the hake.
Deliver a fete of happiness and sadness where words fail.
Design delicate hake joyful grins.
Paint squiggles where they entwine and
clutch each in a never-ending embrace.

© Sy Roth