There are worse things I could do
than write a bad poem or two.
I could write of love that I have known,
love that I have lost. I could compare her
(whoever she is) to some flower, some painting,
or (heaven forbid) some summer’s day.
I could tell of heartbreak and heartache
and use some clever metaphor about the sea
to express the turmoil my life is in.
I could hide a cryptic message in a few
ambiguous verses. I could pretend to see
the beauty of the world in a simple sunset,
or a single raindrop (how ridiculous).
I could feign sadness about some
unfortunate scene I happened upon earlier
and claim it had, or will, change me somehow.
I could rant (probably ignorantly) about
politics, or religion. I could put the world
to rights and solve all of its problems
in a few lines, a few simple words.
I could get philosophical (there’s a laugh) and
talk about the meaning of life and my
“insights” about death and the afterlife.
I could do all that, and maybe some of you
would love it. I could, but I won’t, because it
wouldn’t be fair to all of you, me pretending
I know the first thing about poetry.
I could, and will, neatly end it in a few lines,
with you safe in the knowledge that I didn’t
make up some lies for your enjoyment.
Because to lie for the sake of you,
that’s the worst thing I could do.