“The Love Avowal to Sestina”
Dear Sestina, why do you play
These taunting games with me?
We never quite see eye to eye.
You always cheat and oh,
I am too cowardly to call you
Out–though I know not why.
And you never stop to question why
I let you win when we play:
It is easier to lose the game, than you.
So you cut and shuffle me
And bleed me for what I do not owe.
But I pay anyway, don’t I?
You play me for a fool, and I
Fold my words just so. Why
Do you torment me so? Oh,
Sestina, the games you play!
You do not need to best me,
Nor test me: I belong to you.
Every line I speak is for you.
Can we not see eye to eye?
Your gaze darts away from me
Leaving me to wonder why.
Then you put on a play,
Of coquetry, eyes lowered oh,
So perfectly, asking a silent, “oh?”
Of half-interest and half-amusement that you
—And only you–masterfully display,
A push-pull from your tug of war eye,
Disoriented my question of why,
Why you so mistreat me?
If you love me for me,
Should I feel that I owe
Answers to questions of why,
And how and how much I love you?
We could see eye to eye,
Save for the games you play.
The question of me being here with you,
And the oh, so maddening scrabble to meet your eye!
But why, dear Sestina, why do we play?
*Author’s Note: I’m having a lot of fun here, writing about a sestina as if she were a person and from the perspective of a suitor. There’s a pun in the title as the word ‘avowal’ really is the greatest hint to this poem, for all the end words are vowels. I wanted to try another sestina after writing “the Great Wall”, only this time I was determined to do the envoi correctly this time! SO, I wanted to use the a, e, i, o, u (and sometimes) y of the vowels to create a poem. Only problem with this poem is that the word ‘a’ is often pronounced ‘uh’, so…I tweaked it so that I would use the word ‘play’ instead. And ‘me’ instead of ‘e’, since ‘e’ is not a work at all!
Also, had great fun creating all the ‘games’ that the lovely Sestina likes to play. Apparently some sort of card game, probably poker, a game of tag and tug of war with her eyes, she puts on a play–theatre/drama—and last but certainly not least, Scrabble! After all, a Sestina is a shuffling around of words in a certain order, very mahjong-like (dammit, I should have worked that in but oh well), a play with words, a puzzle you arrange so that hopefully it makes sense and delivers some sort of message. I hope you enjoyed it! I most certainly did! Thanks for reading! 🙂