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Getting to Know You

What is your favorite flower, favorite bird?

I really want you to tell me. If you had twins

what would you name them? Or two goldfish?

How about two cats from the same litter?

Mittens or gloves?

What letter did you most love learning to write

so when you scripted it over and over in your copybook

you tingled with graphic pleasure?

Pick a crayon. What’s the best time of day?

When you play Monopoly,

which little token represents you on the board?

Have a seat. This could take a while.

Cup or mug? Placemats or tablecloth?

Would you rather live in a world where no one cared?

When you were six, what was your favorite song?

It’s sad to forget. Uh huh.

What suit of cards do you prefer? Which fairy tale?

Seashore or mountains? You must choose your horse

on the merry-go-round or you can’t ride—a lesson

of long ago. What were the most comfortable shoes

you ever owned? (Here I could tell a strange story;

let’s just say I have evidence—somewhere

there’s someone who could fill your shoes exactly.)

What do you want for dinner?—speak or starve.

My head hurts too.

As it happens, you’ve stumbled

into my humble democracy.

Here’s your cup of coffee, your violet-blue crayon,

your miniature iron, your hummingbird . . . ,

now, friend (if I may call you friend),

let’s get to work.

from Burning of the Three FiresFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2010
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Published in Jeanne Marie Beaumont Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.