Finding Non-Acerbic Words

How will I tell her?

“I messed up again,

I opened my mouth

and let loose words

—I make you zip in.”

How will I pay

for dance lessons

promised, if she’d

just give me less lip?

How will I tell her?

“Do as I expire, when

my words are why

I just got fired.”

How will I pay

for today’s lollipop,

when I’m cracked?

—the sucker just dropped.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This poem was selected from entries submitted to our Creative Challenge Series #2: Word Salad, which required that the words bolded in the text must be included. Read other Creative Challenge winners. To find out how to participate, go to Creative Challenges.



Shanon Maple is a nontraditional student at Youngstown State University, where she studies English literature and creative writing. She has been published in the Penguin Review and in Ohio’s Best Emerging Poets: An Anthology, by Z Publishing.



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