True Despair

Cannot be captured in poetry

It belongs to the dark hours of soul

Not to the printed page.

There are many rules for verse

(Most of them self-imposed)

But see, Despair follows none of them

It escapes from all your haikus

Leaving them merely miserable

And extracts itself from all your sonnets

(Perhaps its shroud of bitterness

Will catch on the last line)

But Despair can't be tricked

Into imprisoning herself in anything

So restrictive as an a-b-a-b rhyme scheme.

She floats free in the desperate

Garbled sobs of the abandoned child

And the empty eyes of the abused mother

(I've seen her in the shadows of the bedroom wall

In the curve of my tears down my cheeks)

A picture is a thousand words, they say.

Why not draw Despair instead?