A poem should be walked into,
then weighed on the scales of life.

A poem should be waded into, first toes, then ankles,
knees, thighs, until one is submerged.

A poem should be worn like a well-worn sweater
or an itchy hair shirt.

A poem should zing like a toothache
or sting like tears.

A poem should awe like birth
or inspire like earth.

A poem should delight as new buds,
or a full-blown rose or dried grass do.

A poem should be timeless
as pearls worn smooth by warm skin,

Weaving words revered
by a silky soft hand.

Weaving a tune
through the story of life.

A poem should bring us to our knees
to question our convictions,

For the agonies of war,
a mud bath or a drop of dew.

For peace bought by loss,
a beneficial breeze on a cross,

A poem should not scream
but tease.

A poem should laugh with us, cry with us,
hold us in its worded hand.

A poem should dare us
to dream.

Love, Jody,

Modeled After ARS POETICA
By Archibald MacLeish