Sonnet for Jasper, Texas
by Karen Bingham Pape

The first poem of the day is like clay
whether you read or write it
somehow it molds the rest of the hours
into silly putty or maybe a headless
man, tragically speaking from the grave
while you go mechanically through
your art, teaching your students
to pray for those who have slipped
into shades or been hurled brutally
into bits of flesh along a country
road. Beware that first shining
poem of the day, where it can lead;
give thanks for it with your daily bread
and speak kindly with lips that tremble.

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