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Editor's Note


SNR's Writers


To a Poem Written Yesterday

                I was working on the proof one of my poems all morning,
               and took out a comma. In the afternoon, I put it back in again.

                                        Oscar Wilde

You incubated in darkness,
were born in a yellow notebook,
loved like any  fantasy child.

Then the rearranging began.
Was one line too long?
     I amputated.
Did you need more color?
     I gave you the fuchsia of peonies,
     the fresh green of new growth

Then attached the amputation to a short sibling.
Your song began to sound listless
I added some liquid alliteration.

Your rhythm seems off.
I tapped my fingers.
beat a drum, marched
and again  added
                     and subtracted

until you didn’t resemble the poem I loved


So now after seven versions,
singing, amputating, drumming, and reading into a recorder,
I return to the original pushed out on the page—
and find I still love it   unconditionally.

It’s uneven edges,
the yellow and fuchsia dance between green  reattached lines.
One line seems to sings to another, a heart beats--
Yesterday’s poem has decided to stay.

Copyright 2009, Linda Leedy Schneider. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.

Linda Leedy Schneider is a faculty member at Aquinas College, Ferris State University and Kendall College of Art and Design.  Linda received a Readers’ Choice Award from Pedestal magazine, was honored by the Dyer-Ives Poetry Competition and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She leads workshops nationally and internationally including a weeklong session annually at Skidmore College for The International Women’s Writing Guild.  Her work has been published in numerous literary magazines including Rattle Magazine, The Spoon River Poetry Review, The Pedestal Magazine, The Sow’s Ear, The Other Voices International Project ,and  The Ambassador Poetry Project. She has written five collections of poetry including Through the Lattice: Poetry of a Psychotherapist, Argonne House Press, 2002, and Through My Window: Poetry of a Psychotherapist, Pudding House Publications, 2007. Her poetry was published in the international women’s anthology, Not A Muse, Haven Books, 2009.