Social Pariahs

My friend’s a statistician. He relates
when I describe the aptitude we hold
to steer a train of thought that resonates 
enough to stop a conversation cold.

I once revealed my fondness for the craft
of poetry, and instantly the room
went solid. No one whispered; no one laughed;
each heartbeat thundered with a silent boom.

Comparing notes, my friend and I, in turn,
recount the times we’ve staked our standing on
delivering a topic fit to spurn,
and in the process stoked a common yawn.

For poets’ prattle absolutely numbs
his brain, and I’m averse to ciphered sums.


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2002 Mary Boren
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