Call to Post
            After “The Poem You Asked For” by Larry Levis

My poem would not cooperate,
refused to appear when summoned. 

Day after day it hovered
two feet outside my door,
parading its lines,
teasing the nib of my pen.

I tried to coax it onto paper
with black ink, red ink, a school girl’s
tablet lined in blue. I looked to Webster,
to Rodale – but still it stayed away. 

At last, in growing bafflement –
no, in outright desperation –
I challenged it: Show up!
Show up or be disqualified! 

My poem obeyed forthwith, flounced in,
sat down, and thumbed its prose at me.

 Mary Allen