Next to the clown with a cello
sits a poet with a drink,
poring over accounts of the persecuted,
looking for metaphors.
The clown keeps time out loud—
scattering dates and data
over the poet’s shoulder.
The poet sips, the ice cubes clink,
a rosin cloud puffs,
and the poet drops her pen.
In a graceful sweep, the dancer
scoops up the pen,
returns it with a twirl,
curtsies, then goes pas de basque to the bar.
The poet taps the glass with her pen,
the clown taps the table with his bow,
the dancer taps her toes,
the missing tap a code.

About the Author

A graduate of Brooklyn College, MFA in Creative Writing (1986), Valerie Griggs enjoys travel and spent three summers teaching English in the People’s Republic of China. After trying her hand at songwriting, she recorded three original music CDs. She belongs to a vibrant community of poets in Long Island, New York. Recently, her poems have been published in Typishly, the 20th Performance Poets Association anthology and the Nassau County Poet Laureate Society anthology. She works as a full-time writing consultant and adjunct English instructor at Molloy College.