it is a speech, perhaps, but not as long
though people show their boredom. It's a song
with no musician save the tiny crowd
shuffling their feet in what is almost time.
And standing on the stage there's no escape
you hear each cough, each yawn, each whispering scrape
of heel on floor. Up there, you know when rhyme
didn't quite work, because you hear it fail
and metre wobbles. Worse to sit alone
for she's a harsher critic, doesn't phone
or talk about each poem in detail
Bar crowd ennui may hurt, but not like thorns.
Her silence is more torture than their yawns.