Rejection Acceptance
by Ann Howells

When the first rejection arrived:
Our decision to return this submission doesn’t mean much,
all tastes are subjective, and
your work has been taken under careful consideration,
I shook my head, gathered the poems,
and sent them elsewhere.

When the second rejection arrived:
Thank you very much for your interest and for taking time
and effort to send us your work . . . although
your submission has not been accepted,
I sighed, and remounted the metaphorical horse.

With the third rejection:
Unprecedented competiveness for a relatively small amount
of publishing space . . . we did not find a place . . .
wish you the best, I studied my poems carefully,
revised before sending them on their way again.

The fourth rejection was more terse:
Unfortunately, your submission didn’t work out for us.
You may, if you wish, try us again.
I think, don’t hold your breath, Bub.

The final rejection was the clincher:
Right or wrong, we have decided against using your work
in our next issue.
Note from editor: These didn’t move us at all.
I think there’s something to be said for Emily Dickenson
who kept all her poems in her sock drawer.

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