I don’t care if you have a degree
or that your self-published textbook
is a decree to take a closer look
at time-tested, armor plated antiquities.
I don’t care if you know your stuff,
fluffing your sleek, interlocked lines
and keeping things just so, just so
in ascot wearing, dandy rhymes.
I don’t care if you can recite
the Mikado in its entirety,
as you pose in the spotlight,
Yum-Yum for all posterity.
I care about the longing
that I found in the verse
of a friend, words filled with whys
that scattered a soft, rainy season
to the oblivious winds.
I care about the heart
that became a puzzle, tiny pieces,
a thousand tiny pieces calling
out for me to reassemble,
winged things both soaring
then suddenly falling like
art that almost trembled
in gentle riddles crafted to tease.
I care about the grip
that held the pen and how the paper
became damp and creased
as thoughts played in short stanzas,
tethered to honesty,
such a rare and noble quality,
even on the pages of poetry.
I care that caring is vanishing
like stone angels in cemeteries,
conversations on park benches or
the respect for ones peers:
those that dot their teary i’s,
those that shiver in life's trenches,
those that scry with ink, language seers.
They ask so little in return,
Only the freedom to search for truth,
in their own voice, in their own time,
and safety from condemnation,
ruthless lies and snobbery.
I care about a forgotten virtue.
I care about decency.