What do you wish to persuade me of
with your shaking fist and your tattered glove?
If, in the choice we all have to be happy or right,
I choose ease, turn away from the fright
of the critical masses who disbelieve love,
seeing things as they are, never looking above
or through, like a snivel-nosed bully will shove
me into the nearest fight. What do you wish
in your hope to be wrong? Will you prove
by your twitching that a scavenger outwits the dove
who’s indifferent to death? Are you scared of night
or the coming dawn? Confusion is blind to the bright
and ecstatic arrival of love. What do you wish?
Ringelrime is the German term for a wrap-around rondeau, in which the introductory half-line “rounds off” the poem in subsequent stanzas.
© Elaine Stirling, 2016