surprising the Appreciation Society

well
what I try to do
is to surprise
you

you are the who
and you are the why
for me

he is speaking
giving a little talk
to the Appreciation Society

but
when I consider
the what
and the how
that might allow me
to craft your surprise
I am
at a loss

for I do not know you
and likely
never will

the hall
is completely silent
no shushering movement
of squirmed discomfort
or late arrivals

no coughing
to drown out
the speaker’s key points

and so I find
that I must write
in a way
that lets my story
tell itself
while I influence
only marginally
the direction and the fluency
but leave substance
to its own device

when my work is done
the piece
is written
and I can look at it
as though new

the audience
attends closely
as he approaches
a finale

and I find
that it is I
myself
who is the first
to be surprised

and if it surprises
even me
who wrote it
then surely
surely
it will also
surprise you

thank you

in one clean movement
the audience
rose
from his seat
applauded politely
turned and
stumbling slightly
made his way out of the hall
and into the adjoining kitchenette
and small reception room

for a cup of tea and
amazingly
a piece of lamington sponge cake
still in its packet
unopened

~

Poem #403 from a series of poems drawn from the imagination and collected as: a Bachelard reverie.

Back to Bachelard and me – Introduction

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