How to Avoid Appearing in a Poem
by Tina Hacker
Don’t be friends with a poet. Don’t even
say hello to one you pass on the street.
Otherwise your chances of avoiding
poetic fame sink lower than a guy
stealing from the collection plate.
If you’re a poet’s relative,
you’re poetic booty.
Better than the Crown Jewels
because your luster can be captured
on paper without alarms going off.
Even if your name is changed,
everyone will know, “It’s you, isn’t it?”
If you share some coffee
and conversation with a starving poet,
people will soon be texting condolences.
“Didn’t know you had it so bad.”
If you live on a farm,
the whole spectrum of nature,
from plants that grow in Mongolia
to rivers that ran dry a century ago,
will be described in words that rhyme
with your name—first and last.
Sometimes a poet will ask permission
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