The lines he wrote were scratched in ink, some smears
along the margins. Folded words he penned
to her with loops of L’s and O’s in Bic
he borrowed. Rhyming words with silly pleas
to never leave him, figures sketched beside
his poem drawn to make her smile. That note
he wrote in English class when Mr. Hughes
was teaching sonnets, verse and metered feet
while tapping beats, “da, Dum, da, Dum da, Dum.”
He slipped the page across the aisle to Joe
who passed it––Hughes then grabbed the note and read
the poem. Mouths agape, they stared at both
who blushed and shook while Hughes kept reading all
to twenty kids who did not move or hear
a single word. The fate of couplets, verse
and trochees lost in fear and horror shared.
The lesson learned, the note returned, the class
then left the room. His poem shared, he bowed
his head and dropped the note into the trash.
She pulled it out and pressed his fragile words
into her breast. She hid that note inside
her book. The poem fresh, she breathed his verse.
© Kim King 2011