Saturday Morning Poetry Group by Jerry Judge
Pudding Magazine #57

After I read my poem, the silence
of the group thunders me almost deaf.

Madeleine, bless her always gentle heart,
says that she likes the imagery of a giant turtle.

Leo, always logical, can’t figure
how a thirty foot turtle fits into the room.

Mary Anne, back from a Billy Collins workshop,
says that Billy would execute the turtle and then me.

Gwyneth states that I need to buy the turtle
a one way ticket to the Galapagos Islands.

Barb worries about my need to write
yet another turtle poem. She wants to talk later.

Jean points out that the metrical scheme
falls apart by the second line.

Stan mentions that Whitman, Frost, Pound
and Dickinson all wrote poor turtle poems.

I think hobnobbing in company such as that
makes me feel better about myself.

Heather says that Stan has always disliked
turtle poems since a snapping turtle almost bit him.

Eleanor says it has been a long time
since she heard an adult read a turtle poem.
Linda just thinks that the metaphor
takes way too long to get where it needs to go.

Carol A. thinks the poem is hysterical
and even more so because I mean it to be serious.

Angie is sure the poem is political –
pro abortion and anti Republican if you look deeply enough.

Kim says the poem must have something to do
with orgasms like all my other poems do.

Irene says the turtle is a maternal figure –
a tribute to all attractive young mothers.

Carol F. suggests I trim the poem by 35 lines.
I point out that it’s a 35 line poem.

“Exactly,” she says.

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The Schuylkill Valley Journal publishes poetry, short stories and critical essays. Both the SVJ and SVJ LIT come out twice a year, in the spring and in the fall.
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