Kind of Sorry

Colette Tennant

I’d like to say I’m sorry for having too many stars in my poems.

I’d like to – but it’s my muse. She’s the one really stuck on the word.

Sometimes I try to mix it up – write Bellatrix instead of star,

but then she butts in, insists Bellatrix sounds like a nasty

poetry teacher at the Edinburgh school near Blackfriars Cemetery.

I consider Betelgeuse, but it sounds like a bug-shaped pasta.

I want to include Aldebaran in a sonnet, but my naggy,

I mean my muse, she says it sounds like an elaborate horse

no one can afford.


How about if I just write North Star? I ask her.

But she can get ridiculously fussy about adjectives.

You know the type, so I can’t sell that one either.


And it’s not my fault there are so many falling stars.

Warm August nights, they tumble through the roof,

the ceiling, the fireplace, the recessed lighting,

they fall all the way to my blank page

and just shine there, honest they do.

So, I’m stuck with them – a fussy muse – and sweet

monosyllabic stars, and their wink, their glimmer, their gleam.

Colette Tennant is an Oregon poet who has two books of poetry. Her most recent book, Religion in The Handmaid's Tale: a Brief Guide, was published to coincide with Atwood's publication of The Testaments. Her poems have been included in various journals, including Prairie Schooner, Rattle, and Poetry Ireland Review.


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