The Reading
The writer asserts her moral right
to be considered the author of these words,
or at least their order since none of them
are new-hatched, and to read them aloud
as she pleases.
Furthermore, she declares her right
to share a meal with other poets,
(some stranger than fiction) and be
unacquainted with the nudging thigh,
the sweaty hand below the table
fumbling towards her lap.

And while she’s about it,
and although she should not need to,
she insists on the right to amble back alone
to the affordable guest house, juggling words
in her head or just wondering,
through well-lit streets or even darkened alleys,
oblivious of footsteps. And not
be seen as an opportunity,
or a target, or even god help us prey.

Jane Pearn

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Jane Pearn  would be pleased to hear them.