A Foreign Language

She wrote incredibly cryptic
images flying in the face of
each other. I found myself
saying, “Say what?” Verse
after verse, metaphors mixing,
similes smacking, images
flying off the page, “Say what?”
Then she gave an explanation.
“Say what?” All that work for
that? I like poetic puzzles
and stretching one’s mind and
stimulating the little gray
cells (according to Hercule
Poirot), but….My dad said,
“Say it simply not simp-
listically nor on the other
side cryptically.” (Well,
he didn’t actually use the
word cryptically but he
got the point across.) He
wasn’t talking about poetry,
but even there, need it be
like a foreign language you
never had? Should I ask
Billy Collins?

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