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the gasp

by Maria Francesca

hesitant
hopeful
terrified

I stand up
and begin reading

and torturing myself
with questions:

am I too old for this?
should I have rhymed?
am I even half good?

and answering myself
(always in the negative)

but I can still hear myself reading
over the rushing pulse of my blood
and the cowardly pounding of my heart

and then
I hear something else -
something wonderful:

a gasp

from someone in the audience
at exactly the right place

and suddenly the pounding is no longer cowardly
but exhaltant

and if no one else
claps
or comments
or even notices me up here

I'll leave victorious

clutching that gasp to me
as I fall asleep tonight
and as I wake up tomorrow.

04/18/2009

Posted on 04/18/2009
Copyright © 2022 Maria Francesca

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Clara Mae Gregory on 04/18/09 at 06:17 PM

Writing true to oneself is what I believe makes writing the best.And if you are true to yourself, others will see and appreciate that truth too. But we don't all love the same things and will not see and appreciate the same things in any given poem. So, write for yourself first, and all else will fall into place as it should...it is human nature to flock like the birds of a feather and a nonjudgemental heart to rise above those flocking. I love all the birds, but they all don't love me, lol, and that is the way it is..but this bird really enjoyed reading your poem and I thank you for sharing it.

Posted by Clara Mae Gregory on 04/18/09 at 06:19 PM

oops!left a word out. should read: "...and it takes a nonjudgemental heart to rise above those flocking.

Posted by Kris Mara on 04/22/09 at 09:13 PM

oh, I know this feeling and you've written it so well, I think my palms are sweating! And it's so true how validating reaching just one person can be (this is too often a lonely sport).

Posted by George Hoerner on 01/18/13 at 01:18 PM

I have stood in front of people so long and said my piece that I've learned nuance between the polite applause and the clap of acceptance. It does feel good doesn't it.

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