Jean L. Kreiling



You stir the sauce—it’s simmering—
it has to bubble, just a bit.
But while your guests are yammering

and wine glasses are shimmering,
and everybody’s slightly lit,
the sauce is well past simmering.

Your guests talk on, of summering
in Truro—as if that would fit
in your poor budget. Yammering

with them distracts you; stammering,
you turn back to the sauce, but it
smells burnt—it’s not just simmering,

but seething. Candles, glimmering,
illuminate your counterfeit
gourmet skills. Though still yammering,

your guests will soon be clamoring
for takeout, and you’re in a snit.
It’s you that’s well past simmering;
your guests just go on yammering.

The Black Key

(with apologies to William Carlos Williams)

so much depends

a black key

than the one
I played

farther than I
can reach

Jean L. Kreiling is the author of two poetry collections, Arts & Letters & Love (2018) and The Truth in Dissonance (2014), both published by Kelsay Books; her work has been honored with the Able Muse Write Prize, the Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters Sonnet Award, the Kelsay Books Metrical Poetry Award, a Laureates’ Prize in the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest, three New England Poetry Club prizes, and the String Poet Prize.