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Thursday, January 31, 2008


by Michele F. Cooper

The thought takes an unconventional turn
for the worse
on the theme of likeability,
sits like rock salt on a swiveling stool
at the far right of the dais,
feels cranky, indisposed,
threads unsnipped as she wipes
the friendly slate for streaks,
remembers banking
the million-dollar smile
should the subject come up.
She sees the word likeable
on the invisible screen
between her and the cameras,
Barack looking at his desk
as he declares likeable enough,
wonders about enough,
sees the clocks for Paris, London,
and LA ticking off the frozen seconds
the insults, the sniffings,
as the razor question
takes position for tomorrow’s news.
Are you likeable enough? Well?—are you??
The thought looks down,
counts one, counts two,
twinkles hurts my feelings,
how she’ll try to go on,
turning worst to best.
Tested. Ready.
Looking ahead for the win.

Michele F. Cooper is the first-place winner in Poetry Canada's Rhymed Poetry Competition and the TallGrass Poetry Competition, second-place winner in the Galway Kinnell Poetry Competition, author of two books and numerous published poems, founding editor of the Newport Review and Crone's Nest literary magazines, and of a chapbook series, Premier Poets. She recently won honorable mentions in the Emily Dickinson and New Millennium Poetry Competitions. Her book Posting the Watch has just been published by Turning Point, the narrative poetry imprint at WordTech. She is listed in Who's Who in America, Contemporary Authors, and the Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers, among others. She recently moved from the edge of a small horse farm (not hers) to Providence, RI, and now to the Cleveland area, where she writes and works as a book editor.