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A novel in verse … and the writing thereof
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Translation Lessons

Our next picnic speaking literally

was no picnic, metaphorically.

“Okay,” I said. “If you won’t say it, let me try.

No, don’t run away.” We tussled then

till I was sitting on his chest, which meant

     he’d let me.

“So. If someone came after me, you’d fight them, right?”

“Sure. You, my mother, one of my brothers,

the old lady next door—”

I cuffed his head. “You are a most

     unsatisfactory suitor, sir. Most guys at least

     pretend to romance, but you will not.”

“Exactly. I will not pretend.”

“And you will not do things merely

     to suit my whim.”

“Well, that depends.”

I glared. “You’d leap a fence to save me

     from a bull, but then you’d do the same

     for any maid, indeed for anyone,

     now ain’t that true?”

                               “I do confess it so.”

“But you would not leap fences so I could

     admire your hurdling form?”

                                    “That’s showing off!”

“The question, sir; answer the question, yes

     or no.”

               “Then no, I doubt I would.”

“I thought as much.”

I stood and grabbed the corner of my blanket

while he lay there and looked at me; I couldn’t

pull it loose with him on top,

     so I stepped over him and walked away

still holding tight my corner, and as I walked

(trudged, and then hauled)

the spread pulled over and rolled him,

then dumped him in the grass.

“Where’re you going?” he asked,

not getting up. Case in point: he would not

     pursue me.

“I don’t know.”

I kept walking.

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