Rispetto

As most of you know, I am a contributing poet to Writers Digest. I say "contributing." I mean that I post a poem every so often on Robert Brewer's blog. It's fun. This week, we had a challenge. We were to write a rispetto. As I was informed (because I had never heard of this form before), it is a poem with two different forms. The first form is comprised of two quatrains, each with iambic tetrameter. The other form is a hendecasyllabic (eight syllables) 8-line stanza. Here's my attempt at the second form.

Yardwork

It's no longer winter, he says to me under
the falling dead leaves of the oak in the back yard.
It's becoming a time where the world wakes up
from her slumber and shakes off death. It's certainly
better than the alternative. What's that, I ask,
impatiently, staring at his empty hands, while
mine clutch tightly the old plastic rake that has been
an eyesore in the eyesore of the plastic shed.

It's that death itself walks among the living in
this world we cling to so dearly, that we wake up,
shake off our covers and think in the mirror that
today might be the day we finally see the
man behind the cloak and he raises his bony
hand to clutch our tender throats. That's, dark, I mutter,
and look to the ever-darkening sky. I had
to admit that he might finally be stark mad.

The piles of leaves gradually whittled down to
piles of mulch and sweat. I looked to my father, his
gently wrinkled face and greying temples spoke to
a calmer soul and a gently wrinkled humor.
Don't let me fill your head with thoughts of an old man,
he laughs. You'll be around much longer than I and
that is a promise I hope to keep. You've got a
good head start. Now, tomorrow we rebuild the shed.

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