I struggled, got her words just right
as I revised for half a night.
Onto the battlefield she rode
my glorious soldier named Ode.
Her rival said - "she's much too long!"
another nagged - "..setting's all wrong."
Broken and bruised my warrior stayed
doing her job, somewhat dismayed.
Hours before the contest was done
came this brassy note, only one.
"As I read, your piece was just fine
You just skipped ev'ry other line."
Front lines were chosen, mine were not.
My Ode retreated, proud to have fought.
Humbled, she found the road back home;
the battlefield is no place to roam.